Lidl consolidates UK media account with OMD

Final shootout against Starcom.

Lidl: 2020 festive ad
Lidl: 2020 festive ad

Lidl has awarded its £55m UK media buying account to OMD UK after opting to consolidate its planning and buying requirements into a single agency.

The German discount supermarket chain kicked off a review several months ago across Europe, which ultimately led to a shootout in the UK between its two incumbent agencies, OMD and Starcom.

Lidl had taken the unusual step of splitting media planning and buying duties across two agencies in 2018. Omnicom’s OMD was awarded the strategic planning account, while Publicis Groupe’s Starcom was the media buyer. Starcom had previously held the entire business since 2015.

This year’s pitch for the media buying agencies was set up and led internationally, by the Schwarz Group, with countries giving local input and making the final decision, Lidl said.

WPP’s Group M was involved in an earlier stage of the review process, Campaign reported last week.

Claire Farrant, marketing director at Lidl GB, said: “The pitch process, which started at the beginning of this year, has given us an opportunity to reflect and review on our media structure. 

“We thank all agencies for participating and congratulate OMD on their win. Special thanks goes to Starcom for all their hard work and support over the last five years, which has helped us reach 6.1% market share.”

Lidl is the third-biggest supermarket advertiser behind Tesco and Asda in the UK, with above-the-line spend of £55m, according to Nielsen figures. 

A source familiar with the review said Lidl had indicated several months ago that it had intended to consolidate all its media planning and buying into a single shop. However, as the process developed, regional market leaders at Lidl were empowered to choose their own agency. 

Laura Fenton, managing director at OMD UK, added: “We have been proud to work with Lidl over the past couple of years on media strategy and planning. They are an incredibly fast-moving business and marketing team and we are delighted to integrate media buying into our remit as we support the next phase of their growth.”

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