TBWA Manchester enters Tesco pitch calculations

TBWA Manchester could be set to make one the biggest ad comebacks as, according to Campaign, it went down a storm with Tesco at the giant retailer’s round of chemistry’ meetings over the future of its £110m account, thereby propelling big brother in London onto the shortlist.

This could just be someone at TBWA talking up its prospects of course but for TBWA Manchester to bounce back from losing the £50m Co-op account to Leo Burnett by helping to win much larger Tesco would be quite a result.

The other agencies on Tesco shortlist are reported to be JWT, Easyjet agency VCCP and Wieden & Kennedy which means that the likes of Grey, Karmarama, McCann and SapientNitro failed to make the final cut.

We are definitely not going to speculate on who the likely winner will be, having confidently predicted that the pitch would come down to M&C Saatchi and a WPP team.

M&C seems to have been ruled out through its Dixons connections while JWT seems to be the only WPP representative, although WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell will be beavering away behind the scenes to make sure it can field an all-star line-up.

W+K, which nobody seemed to see as a likely contender, is interesting: could the Shoreditch arts lab handle Tesco? Well there’s no reason why not; it handles chunks of high-maintenance Nike and all sorts of digital stuff for Honda. And these days you’re obliged to take on some of the people who worked on the account at the old agency, in this case The Red Brick Road. So having retail experience isn’t as important as it used to be.

But TBWA Manchester’s USP is its retail experience of course.

Tell you what, I give up.

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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.