Walmart Subsidiary Asda Appoints New Ad, Media Agencies

Asda, the UK supermarket subsidiary of Walmart, said Tuesday that it has appointed Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi and Zenith as its new creative and media agencies, respectively. The appointments are effective immediately.

The company spends an estimated $150 million on ads annually.

Saatchi replaces UK-based VCCP, part of Chime Communications. Last year, Chime was acquired by WPP and Providence Equity Partners. Zenith takes over for Dentsu’s Carat. The shift reunites the Publicis Groupe shops with the client--both had been on its agency roster several years ago.

The appointments were welcome news for Publicis Groupe, which has lost some big accounts over the past year. In the U.S.

Walmart confirmed in February it was parting ways with Publicis media agency Mediavest at the end of the year. The big-box giant also confirmed that it’s been in talks with WPP affiliate agency Haworth (WPP owns 49%) about taking on the $900 million U.S. media assignment.



Asda said the appointments of the new agencies are part of an ongoing restructuring it calls “Project Renewal,” a revamp of the supermarket chain’s positioning and value proposition to customers. It’s spending close to $2 billion to bolster its Save Money Live Better brand strategy that’s being led by Chief Customer Officer Andy Murray.

Commenting on the agency switch, Murray stated: “We’ve made a big commitment within Project Renewal to our brand and we are making changes at pace that will differentiate Asda with our customers both in stores and online."

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