Asda kicks off creative agency review

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO has held the account since 2018.

Sonny: character was introduced last year in campaign by AMV BBDO
Sonny: character was introduced last year in campaign by AMV BBDO

Asda has started talking to creative agencies, putting incumbent Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO on alert.

An Asda spokesman said: "As the needs of our customers – and the way we talk to them continue to evolve and change, we have taken the decision to retender our lead creative agency, in a pitch process starting later this month.”

The news follows the departure of its chief customer officer Anna-Maree Shaw, who left the job after less than a year in the role.

Asda is searching for a replacement for Shaw, with chief strategy officer Preyash Thakrar, vice-president creative and marketing Eilidh Macaskill and vice-president of proposition and planning Matt McLellan leading marketing at the moment.

Asda is also under new management after parent company Walmart sold a majority stake in October to the EG Group founders, the brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa, and private equity firm TDR Capital in a £6.8bn deal.

Most recently Asda’s ads have featured super-fan Sunny. He was used in September to revive its pocket tap and starred in its price-focused 2020 Christmas ad.

AMV has held the business since 2018, two years after it lost its long-standing Sainsbury's account.

Asda's creative account returned to Saatchi & Saatchi London in April 2016 after three years with VCCP. The Publicis Groupe agency had previously held the account from 2009 to 2013.

In 2016 Asda also brought in Publicis' media shop Blue 449 (now Spark Foundry) to handle the planning and buying. When the ad account moved to AMV, Blue 449 retained the media.

AMV declined to comment. 

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