Initiative retains 80m Tesco media account

Tesco has retained Initiative to handle its 80m media planning and buying business. The decision comes months after it was understood to have put the agency on notice.

Tesco has retained Initiative to handle its £80m media planning and buying business, the decision comes months after it was understood to have put the agency on notice.

Initiative, which has held the business over 18 years, has signed a new contract with the retailer. Under the new deal, the agency will handle media planning and buying across all channels, including digital.

Carolyn Bradley, marketing director at Tesco, says that it is “pleased to reaffirm its commitment to Initiative”.

The news will come as a relief to the beleaguered Interpublic Group-owned agency, which lost the £75m Orange media business this summer and also saw the departure of former UK chief executive Jerry Hill, who became the agency’s global strategic development director in March.

Tesco has been an IPG client since it awarded its media business to the now-defunct Western Media, which was merged into Initiative in 2000. Three years ago, Tesco moved its advertising business out of IPG’s Lowe into Sir Frank Lowe’s start-up Red Brick Road.

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