Allan Leighton, the chief executive of Asda, has slammed agencies
which get too ’wrapped up’ in creativity, and declared: ’I am a fan of
In an interview for Campaign’s ’Boardroom Players’ series this week,
Leighton asked: ’What would you rather have? Something new or something
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
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.’