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WPP Drops as Major Client Unilever Slashes Advertising Costs

  • Dove owner’s cost-cutting will lead to creation of fewer ads
  • WPP falls as much as 4.4 percent, biggest decline in a month
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WPP Plc fell the most in a month after one of the advertising company’s biggest clients, consumer-product giant Unilever, said it would cut back on its marketing spending, fueling concerns about a broader ad-industry slowdown.

Unilever, which sells Dove soap and Hellmann’s mayonnaise, will produce 30 percent fewer ads as part of a cost-cutting drive, Chief Financial Officer Graeme Pitkethly said Thursday in a phone interview. WPP, whose Ogilvy & Mather agency makes ads for Dove, dropped as much as 4.4 percent, the most since March 3.