Tesco poised for £80m UK media overhaul

LONDON - Tesco is in talks with agencies ahead of a review of its £80 million UK media planning and buying account.

Tesco... poised to review media
Tesco... poised to review media

The supermarket giant has approached several networks regarding its media arrangements, with a formal pitch expected to start after the Christmas period.

Tesco signed a contract with its 20-year incumbent, Initiative, in November last year after a fraught period that saw the retailer meet with agencies understood to include MediaCom, OMD, ZenithOptimedia and Arena BLM.

However, a formal pitch was never called. At the time, Initiative declined to reveal how long the new contract would last. Tesco's recent UK ad campaigns, created by The Red Brick Road, have featured the former Cold Feet star Fay Ripley waiting outside Tesco for a lift from her husband who arrived not by car, but by hot-air balloon.

In July, the Advertising Standards Authority banned a television ad for the retailer that misleadingly implied all the toys across its stores were included in a half-price sale.

Earlier this month, the supermarket giant reported a rise in pre-tax profit for the first half of the year of 1 per cent to £1.42 billion, thanks to an increase in sales of non-food items, premium ranges and organic food.

Tesco claims it now has 16 million active Clubcard holders in the UK, compared with  the 11.7 million people who own a Barclaycard.

A spokesman for Tesco denied there were plans for a review and said that the supermarket was not in talks with agencies.