Tesco shakes up its ad strategy

The freelance advertising company behind Tesco’s slogan ‘every little helps’ has been dumped by the supermarket after more than 15 years’ service.

Lowe London’s website still displays the UK’s largest supermarket retailer under its list of clients, but according to The Times, Tesco has terminated the contract in the wake of the resignation of the company chairman.

Paul Weinberg leaves the firm only to start next year at a new agency to be formed by Sir Frank Lowe, co-founder of Lowe Worldwide, both of whom will jointly work on the Tesco account.

The resignations of a senior copy writer and senior art director at Lowe, both with experience of briefs for Tesco, have followed the departures at the helm, amid the loss of a contract said to be worth £5million a year.

As part of a budget-saving scheme, the ad firm reportedly cut 29 jobs this summer with a further 40 redundancies, following last year’s loss of Unilever’s Signal and Mentadent brands and Braun’s £40 million global account.

Reflecting on the current climate, Gary Lace, chief executive, said the loss of Tesco’s business was “very disappointing” for the company, before sounding similar remorse over the departure of Paul Weinberger.

The outgoing chairman will be “very sorely missed,” he said, adding, “it is a credit to this working relationship with the client that they have chosen to work with him going forward.”

In over 15 years’ working on advertising projects for Tesco, Mr Weinberger worked with Mark Cadman, the-then managing director of Lowe, to win the supermarket ‘Campaign Advertiser of the year,’ according to Campaign magazine (2004).

Their creation of TV and poster ads stressing Tesco’s value for money approach, reinforced by the ‘every little helps’ slogan, is probably the firm’s highest profile project.

More recently, Lowe has unveiled the controversial ‘Under my Skin’ advert for the British Heart Foundation’s anti-smoking campaign, as well as productions for other clients including Hellman’s, Cherokee and Stella Artois.

Responding to the decision to leave Lowe London, a statement from Tesco reads, “We are pleased to be continuing our relationship with Paul Weinberger and the creative team that has worked on our businesses over many years.”


7th December 2005

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