Asda is considering agencies from the top four holding companies for its creative account – along with Chime Communications-owned VCCP, through VCCP Blue, which it describes as its specialist agency.
Omnicom’s Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, the incumbent since 2018, is up against VCCP Blue, WPP’s Wunderman Thompson, Interpublic’s FCB Inferno and a Publicis Groupe team led by Leo Burnett.
Asda called the review in January, following the sale of a majority stake in the company by Walmart to Mohsin and Zuber Issa, and the departure of former chief customer officer Anna-Maree Shaw.
VCCP’s main agency won the account in 2013 from Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi, which nabbed it back three years later – at the same time, the supermarket appointed Publicis Media shop Blue 449 to its media account. Blue 449 was merged in 2019 into Spark Foundry, which still has the Asda business.
The highly competitive nature of the UK supermarket sector means Asda has had a relatively small pool of agencies to choose from, since most of the bigger UK creative shops already have a supermarket client.
These include Bartle Bogle Hegarty (which has held the Tesco account since 2015), Adam & Eve/DDB (Waitrose, since 2015), McCann UK (Aldi, since 2005), Publicis.Poke (Morrisons, since 2016), Wieden & Kennedy (Sainsbury’s, since 2016), Karmarama (Lidl, since 2018), Lucky Generals (Co-op, since 2018) and Grey London (M&S Food, since 2016).