Business World

Tuesday 19 November 2019

Tesco boss switches ad agency to help restore image

SALESMAN: Tesco's Dave Lewis could sell snow to Eskimos. But can he fix the retailer?
SALESMAN: Tesco's Dave Lewis could sell snow to Eskimos. But can he fix the retailer?

The new boss of British supermarket Tesco has drafted in BBH, an advertising agency behind a series of high profile campaigns, to rebuild its brand after an accounting scandal added to its image problems.

Bartle Bogle Hegarty is an award-winning British agency owned by France's Publicis which has worked for consumer brands including Audi, Levi Strauss, British Airways and Johnnie Walker.

Tesco's new chief executive Dave Lewis, a marketing expert who worked for consumer goods group Unilever for 27 years, said he had appointed BBH and consultants Blue Rubicon to help management turn around the firm's reputation.

"Both businesses will play a central role as Tesco reconnects with customers and rebuilds trust in the brand in the coming years," Lewis said in a statement.

Lewis knows both companies from his time at Unilever, with BBH behind the "Lynx Effect" adverts for its deodorant brand as well as campaigns for Omo and Surf detergents and Vaseline ointment.

Other notable BBH campaigns include creating the "Vorsprung durch Technik" (Progress Through Technology) catchphrase to help sell Audi cars.

Marketing experts have speculated that Lewis might ditch Tesco's dated red-and-blue logo and its "Every Little Helps" slogan used since 1992 that has been twisted of late to mock the struggling retailer.

Tesco announced plans last week to slash costs, close stores and sell assets to fund lower prices and mend its finances, as Britain's largest supermarket chain fights to win back customers lost to German discounters Aldi and Lidl. A 263 million pound ($400 million) accounting scandal has added to the sense of crisis at the company.

According to marketing consultancy Interbrand, the value of the Tesco brand fell 16 percent last year to $9 billion, leaving it behind France's Carrefour as Europe's most valuable supermarket name.

Lewis said Blue Rubicon was a proven adviser to boards on corporate and brand turnarounds and would lead on reputation strategy. It has won awards for work with brands from Coca-Cola to Tesco's rival Sainsbury's.

Tesco is ending its relationship with ad agency Wieden+Kennedy, which had been its lead creative and strategic agency since 2012. Its financial public relations adviser, Brunswick, would retain its role


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