Unilever will move the creative assignments of seven brands from Riverorchid to other agencies in three stages in January, March and October next year. The seven brands are Vaseline, Dove, Comfort, Lux, Close Up, Wall's and Pond's. It's not clear whether the FMCG will call pitches for these brands.
Last year, Riverorchid took over all Unilever brands, which were previously handled by Ogilvy & Mather. Santiphong Pimolsaengsuriya, CEO of Riverorchid, noted that Unilever advised the agency during the transition period that it was not comfortable having all its eggs in one basket in the medium- to long-term.
“We understand this and will do all we can to enable a smooth handover,” he added.
The move will see Riverorchid left with 14 other brands for Unilever in Cambodia. The agency works with Unilever in both Cambodia and Laos.
Maks Mukundan, business director of Unilever's Indochina Business Unit, said the company's normal best practice is to distribute creative assignments across two or three main partner agencies. "This move in no way reflects on Riverorchid's capability and we thank them for handling of these brands in this interim period, as well as their commitment to assist with smooth transitions,” Mukundan said.
Meanwhile, Unilever has renamed Riverorchid Media to handle its media assignments in Cambodia for another year. Riverorchid Media has recently expanded its media research coverage to all 24 provinces in Cambodia.