Morrisons’ Safeway bid to spark review

Wm Morrison is expected to consider reviewing its media agency arrangements if its £3bn bid for Safeway is accepted by shareholders, giving it a combined £20m media spend.

Morrisons uses MediaedgeCIA:Manchester to handle its £17m media buying account, while Safeway uses Manning Gottlieb OMD on its £3m media buying business. One of the possible cost-saving benefits of the Safeway takeover could be to consolidate the two accounts.

Morrisons called a review of its advertising account earlier this year after it made its initial bid for Safeway, appointing BDH/TBWA (MW April 3), while Safeway uses Clemmow Hornby Inge.

Morrisons marketing services controller Michael Bates refused to comment on the possibility of an agency review.

Should shareholders accept Wm Morrison’s bid, Safeway supermarkets of more than 25,000 square feet will be rebranded as Morrisons. Of the remaining Safeway stores, those less than 15,000 square feet will retain the Safeway brand name, while those between 15,000 and 25,000 square feet will be renamed under a new Morrisons sub-brand representing their compact size.

There are also plans to close Safeway’s head office, putting more than 1,200 jobs at risk. These job losses are likely to include most of the 80-strong marketing department (MW January 16). The department is headed by Martin Pugh, who was promoted to marketing director following the departure of Karen Bray in June (MW June 12).

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