Asda’s £100m creative account is returning to Saatchi & Saatchi after less than three years at VCCP. The move follows the appointment of a new chief customer officer Andy Murray from Asda owner Walmart. Saatchi handles Walmart creative in the US.
In a double boost for Saatchi owner Publicis Groupe Asda is moving out of long-time media agency Carat to Publicis-owned Blue 449, formerly Walker Media. Publicis Groupe recently lost Walmart’s $900m media account in the US.
So a rather confusing set of comings and goings for you but that’s advertising and retailers these days. Aldi and the Co-op both recently decided to stick with their respective creative agencies, McCann Manchester and Leo Burnett, after major pitches.
The one thing you can depend on, it seems, is that business moves when a new marketing boss arrives. Murray, strangely enough, was the founder of Saatchi & Saatchi X, Saatchi’s shopper marketing agency.
Quite why Asda thinks Saatchi is the best agency now when it wasn’t three years ago only Murray and co. know. VCCP group CEO Adrian Coleman says: “As you can imagine we are hugely disappointed with the news but understand that global realignments happen. We have enjoyed our time spent working with Asda and are very proud of the work we have produced. We wish them every business success for the future.”
Whatever, the win is a feather in the cap of Robert Senior, Saatchi global CEO and Euro boss of Publicis’ new Publicis Communications.
Asda, still based in the north of England to an extent, has taken a ferocious kicking from discounters Aldi and Lidl and must be suffering as well from Dave Lewis’ reviving Tesco. It’s hard to think of any Asda advertising of note since the days of Allan Leighton and Archie Norman 20 or so years ago – through Publicis London. It would be interesting if Saatchi, a more than capable creative agency, was now let off the leash.