Weinberger quits Tesco agency The Red Brick Road as review starts – is time up for the agency too?

Paul Weinberger, the creative who’s been key to the Tesco account at Lowe & Partners and now the The Red Brick Road, is leaving the agency. Intriguingly, though, he hasn’t said what he’s going to be doing.

Weinberger, who’s also chairman of TRBR, says: “I’ve enjoyed a wonderfully collaborative relationship with Tesco over the last 20 years or so but, sadly, you have to know when your time is up. I wish every success to Tesco and to all of the talented people at The Red Brick Road.”

Which presumably means that TRBR is resigned to losing £110m Tesco’s consumer advertising although Tesco has said it will keep the trade marketing. The imminent Tesco loss, though, also places a very large question mark over the agency’s future, still regarded by many in adland as Tesco’s house agency despite some notable work for other clients including Magner’s and Thinkbox. Without Tesco (and Weinberger) its other principals, including CEO Paul Hammersley, might decide they’d be better off doing something else too.

Which would be quite a comedown for the agency which set up shop with the Tesco account when Sir Frank Lowe fell out with Lowe & Partners owner Interpublic and strode off with the Tesco business, then said to be worth £40m. Lowe retired last year.

As for Weinberger, he sounds pretty cheesed off by the whole business but things can change. Does Tesco still want the man who coined ‘Every Little Helps’ on its business? Will Sir Martin Sorrell and WPP come calling with an offer for him to join its ‘Team Tesco’ line-up in what is already the year’s most hotly-contested UK pitch?

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.