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Sainsbury’s boosts in-house agency Zest with hiring spree

Sainsbury’s is expanding its in-house creative and production agency Zest and is looking to fill over 30 new jobs.

The jobs cover creative operations and account management, creative planning, senior creatives responsible for originating cross-channel ideas and specialist design and creative production, especially photography and video shoots.

Director of brands, planning and creative Radha Davis says: “Sainsbury’s Zest colleagues have the opportunity to flex their creative talent with some of the UK’s biggest and most coveted retail brands. Including household names like Sainsbury’s, Argos, Habitat and Tu, and the UK’s biggest loyalty brand, Nectar. We’ve also recently added Smart Charge to our portfolio, an exciting new ultra-rapid EV charging brand, which Sainsbury’s Zest conceived and created the branding for (below) – offering colleagues the chance to work on growing and developing a new area of business.”

Questions are bound to be asked about how Zest will affect Sainsbury’s’ agencies – New Commercial Arts for stores, Tu and Habitat, The&Partnership with Argos and Ogilvy which handles some across-the-line work. NCA appears relaxed, the agency was appointed to Sainsbury’s with Zest already in being and seems to work happily with it.

There are two reasons for a combination of external and in-house agencies. One is to handle the ever-growing volume of production in a digital, multi-channel world, the other is to save money (and keep the external agency on its toes.)

Sainsbury’s is in the midst of a fearsome cost-cutting programme, designed to make its food competitive with Aldi, Lidl and others and is looking for another £900m or so of savings (that’s presumably why the checkouts are disappearing.) Saving marketing costs with an in-house agency isn’t likely to make too much of a dent in that but, as one of its rivals likes to say, every little helps.

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