TAG arms up with new boss and print management division – but it may have come too late for Tesco

Creative services outfit TAG, owned by business outsourcing giant Williams Lea, is getting bigger with the absorption of Williams Lea’s print management operation.

TAG has also promoted Americas boss John Paulson to be global CEO.

Paulson (left) says: “Bringing Williams Lea Print Management and Strategic Sourcing solutions under the TAG brand is an important step in evolving our offer, growing our business and delivering better, more cost effective and scalable services for our clients.”

Williams Lea bought TAG 18 months ago. TAG began as repro company Adplates before morphing into TAG by way of The Adplates Group. It survived the disappearance of traditional press repro (colour separations etc) by providing studio services to ad agencies.

TAG is currently awaiting the outcome of a pitch against WPP’s even bigger Hogarth creative services division for the role of partnering Wieden+Kennedy London on the £140m Tesco ad account. TAG produces, in effect, all Tesco’s price ads (the vast majority) to a W+K template.

The pitch is surprising because TAG was only appointed to its part of the account eight months ago but Tesco marketing is ruled by procurement these days and WPP (whose JWT missed out on the grocer’s creative account) is determined to elbow its way on board.

The absorption of Williams Lea’s print management division presumably makes TAG a more attractive and cheaper proposition to Tesco. But it may have come too late as the pitches for the account took place earlier this month.

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