- Unilever is considering paying some of its smaller agencies and other suppliers early to help these partners address the economic difficulties they're facing due to pandemic-related shutdowns, Campaign reported.
- The CPG giant has pledged $540 million in cash to support companies across its extended value chain in order to help these small-to-medium sized businesses survive pandemic-triggered economic downturn, Unilever announced in a press release. Unilever is also offering credit to partners in need.
- The company will donate $108 million toward efforts to help fight the coronavirus outbreak. This includes donating about $54 million toward soaps and hand sanitizers to the COVID Action Platform of the World Economic Forum. Additionally, Unilever will work to manufacture these products for institutional needs including at hospitals and schools.
Unilever is aiming to help the people that work within its ecosystem and maintain the economic channels through which it functions. This effort could help the CPG behemoth maintain its operational infrastructure and build loyalty among partners as well as customers who think major brands like Unilever have a responsibility to step up during this global time of need.
The coronavirus and its associated COVID-19 illness has negatively impacted the economy, spurring layoffs across industries from travel to retail. More than 65% of advertising professionals are afraid that layoffs will come as a result of the pandemic, according to a recent report from professional social network Fishbowl.
Unilever's announcement comes as advertisers have been taking more time to pay for marketing services in an effort to improve cash flow by, according to a recent report by the Association of National Advertisers. The industry group found that payment terms for ad agencies lengthened 27% to 58 days on average in 2019 from 46 days in 2013.
Brands that are taking on the current coronavirus crisis may be better positioned to earn positive feedback from consumers, with good deeds helping to drive longer-term loyalty. A new study from Ace Metrix found 75% of people want to see brands taking action to fight the pandemic. Additionally, a separate 4A's report found that 56% of consumers are paying a close watch around how brands respond to the situation.
Unilever's monetary donations and giving credit to smaller entities in its supply chain, as well as its donations of sanitizing products to hospitals and schools, will likely drum up positive brand buzz and encourage consumers to view the company as a champion amid a global crisis.