Publicis lands Wal-Mart £100m Euro account despite Leighton exit

Publicis has been appointed by Wal-Mart to handle its £100m pan-European advertising account.

The move means Publicis will handle advertising for Wal-Mart’s ailing German venture, as well as the £100m Asda account it has held for the past eight years. The German account was previously held by Wal-Mart’s US agency GSD&M.

News of the appointment will help quash rumours that Publicis’ hold on the Wal-Mart account could be undermined by last week’s departure of Asda boss Allan Leighton. It is understood that the appointment was a joint decision between Leighton, Asda marketing director Richard Baker, and Wal-Mart worldwide director of marketing Paul Higham.

Lee Scott, president of Wal-Mart, is said to have been impressed with Publicis’ work with both Asda and Wal-Mart’s Canadian division.

Rick Bendel, group chairman at Publicis, says: “We have been the custodians of the Asda brand in the UK and we will be the regional centre for Wal-Mart in Europe.”

He adds that the departure of Allan Leighton, whom he describes as a “close friend and colleague”, will not undermine Publicis’ relationship with Wal-Mart bosses in the US. He says: “We have been told we are considered to be one of the family.”

Cover story, page 28

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here