ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, and NEW YORK, Feb. 2, 2000 — Unilever has extended its online advertising with Microsoft Corp. into Europe through a three-year deal for the development of interactive and online marketing strategies for Unilever’s key brands in France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Under the agreement, Unilever will be the premier sponsor of the WomenCentral channel on MSN.com TM , and will have dedicated Web sites, interactive displays and advertisements in France, Germany and the United Kingdom. In addition, Unilever will place banners and advertisements on the MSN TM network of Internet services.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The agreement is an extension of the relationship between Unilever and Microsoft started in 1998 in the United States to promote Unilever brands on MSN.
“We’re very pleased with the extension of this relationship into Europe,”
said Christoph Michalski, director of Unilever’s Interactive Brand and Customer Centre (IBCC) at Schiphol Airport, near Amsterdam.
“This is a great opportunity for many of our key brands to experiment with this medium in Europe and to develop original content and interactive marketing and communications strategies.”
Michalski said interactive marketing is an integral part of Unilever’s brand strategy in Europe.
Microsoft also said it was pleased with the extension of the agreement, which broadens one of the largest, long-term investments by a consumer goods advertiser in the United States into a major international commitment to the Web.
“The extension of the original agreement is testimony to the success of MSN in working with Unilever to spread its brand messages online,”
said Jim Kinsella, general manager, MSN Sales and Marketing, and president and CEO of MSNBC.
“MSN is able to deliver the exact audience that Unilever seeks to reach with its branding message. Since we announced our original deal with Unilever back in July 1998, MSN has worked with Unilever’s Interactive Brand Center to develop an interactive campaign that aids the company in this area.”
The IBCC Europe was established in 1999 to work with Unilever’s Interactive Brand Center (IBC) in New York and its IBC in Singapore. Together, the three centers develop interactive marketing and communication strategies for major Unilever brands. The IBCC Europe develops interactive strategies on behalf of Unilever’s European business groups: Food and Beverages Europe, Home and Personal Care Europe, and Ice Cream and Frozen Foods Europe. Well-known brands include Dove, Liptonice and Unox.
“Unilever took an early position to make the Web a friendly and useful place for consumers,”
said David Stern, vice president of the Unilever IBC in the United States.
“Now our work with Microsoft is helping build new channels for women on the Internet.”
The interactive ad campaign launched on MSN.com UK and MSN.com France on Feb. 1 and will be followed by MSN.com Germany on Feb. 17.
MSN is the network of Internet services from Microsoft that helps people better organize the Web around what’s important to them. The network of MSN services, located on the Web at MSN.com ( http://www.MSN.com/ ), helps people easily stay in touch with friends and colleagues, make smart and secure purchasing decisions, and get more done. MSN offers award-winning e-mail functionality; personal communications services; wireless services information; customizable access to news; popular sites for personal finance, travel, automotive services, shopping and more; an online community; a Web search engine and directories; and top-rated Internet access.
Unilever is one of the world’s largest consumer products companies with sales close to $50 billion. It produces and markets a wide range of foods, home and personal care products. Unilever operates in 88 countries around the globe and employs 267,000 people. In the United States, sales exceeded $8 billion in 1998. It employs 21,000 people in the United States and has 66 offices and manufacturing sites in 23 states.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.
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