Asda chief applauds ’wallpaper’ TV spots

Allan Leighton, the chief executive of Asda, has slammed agencies which get too ’wrapped up’ in creativity, and declared: ’I am a fan of wallpaper advertising.’

Allan Leighton, the chief executive of Asda, has slammed agencies

which get too ’wrapped up’ in creativity, and declared: ’I am a fan of

wallpaper advertising.’



In an interview for Campaign’s ’Boardroom Players’ series this week,

Leighton asked: ’What would you rather have? Something new or something

reassuring?’



He does not worry that the British public might be bored with Asda’s

’pocket tap’ ads.



Asda has improved its performance dramatically since Leighton joined in

1992, when the company was still recovering from an ill-fated move

upmarket in the 80s.



It spends about pounds 25 million a year on advertising the supermarket

and a further pounds 5 million on George, its clothing business - both

with Publicis.



The supermarket is the sixth biggest retail advertiser and the UK’s

third largest supermarket chain by sales.



Leighton said: ’The most important thing about advertising is that it’s

consistent and supports the brand. That’s why I’m a cynic about an ad

world that gets so wrapped up in producing very creative advertising

rather than asking whether the ad underpins the values of the product.

Ours is wallpaper and I love it!’



Rick Bendel, the UK group chairman of Publicis, said: ’The advertising

world thinks Asda’s advertising is naff. But it is not about

entertainment, it is about information and normalising shopping.’



Feature, p32.



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