Sainsbury’s marketing boss Warby quits on eve of first Wieden+Kennedy campaign

Sainsbury’s marketing director Sarah Warby (left) is leaving the grocer after five years, days before new agency Wieden+Kennedy’s first work is due to break.

She’s being replaced, it seems, by a gaggle of people including director of marketing, planning & propositions Mark Given (what, all three?). Warby says she’s been working with CEO Mike Coupe to restructure the marketing team.

Even so it seems a peculiar time to change the team/jump ship. Prior to appointing W+K Sainsbury’s spent 40 years at AMV BBDO apart from a brief interregnum at M&C Saatchi.

A loud groan may have emanated from W+K MD Neil Christie’s office when he received the news. W+K’s three year tenure on Tesco during the Phil Clarke regime was bedevilled by changes to Tesco’s marketing department with a new face appearing every couple of months. We don’t know whether Given, who’s also been at Sainsbury’s for five years or so, was part of team W+K pitched to. Warby assuredly would have been and also has direct agency experience at Leo Burnett Sydney.

W+K’s website says the agency exists to create “strong and provocative relationships between good companies and their customers.” Not too provocative we hope.

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