Leo Burnett resigns £13m Somerfield business

- Leo Burnett has resigned the £13m Somerfield account just four months after its appointment.

- Leo Burnett has resigned the £13m Somerfield account just four months after its appointment.

The troubled retailer, which issued a profits warning last month, has undergone a major restructure that saw the ousting of group marketing director Phil Smith followed by group brand communications director Alan Shepherd. Both marketers were involved in the appointment of Leo Burnett.

The supermarket has also backtracked on its plans to integrate its Kwik Save stores which it acquired two years ago. The agency was to produce a brand-building campaign for the new stores, but instead has been reworking ads by former agency RPM3, focusing on pricing not branding.

The business will now be handled by McCann-Erickson, which has had the Kwik Save account for the past two years. However, McCanns will only be handling the work on a project basis until the end of the year and will produce separate work for both the Somerfield and Kwik Save brands.

The company said that advertising arrangements may be reviewed after that time.

Leo Burnett's appointment came after a lengthy pitch that began in November last year and also involved McCanns, J Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather.

A second pitch was held at the end of January and the agency was finally appointed to the account in January.

The supermarket split into four divisions last month. Marketing for the 600 Somerfield stores and 450 Kwik Save stores is now being headed by Richard Smith who previously had an operations role. Managing director of the division is Tony O'Neill, formerly group operations director.


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