Ocado plots acquisition drive

Ocado is plotting a major acquisition campaign to highlight its points of difference as it looks to arrest declines in its share of the grocery delivery market.


The online grocer has appointed BD Network to develop a major digital, print, outdoor and direct mail campaign to raise awareness of the quality and service it offers such as convenient booking slots, its online-only models and exclusive lines.

Ocado will be hoping that the “ambitious” campaign activity will help grow its customer base and turnaround its recent sluggish performance.

Its shares fell sharply earlier this year when it reported flat profit before tax at £0.2m for the half year to 13 May, despite an 11% rise in sales to £308m.

Analysts have warned that Ocado’s current debt and falling market share makes the business “unsustainable”. Panmure Gordon’s Philip Dorgan said earlier this week that “we are at the beginning of the end game for Ocado”.

CEO Tim Steiner recently said that Ocado would embark on a major push on lowering prices over the next year to drive growth by showing consumers it is not more expensive than its rivals. A “lower price promise” has been trialled in Manchester and will be rolled out nationally.

It is not known if the campaign activity, due to launch this autumn, will take this direction and focus on price messaging.

Ahead of the autumn campaign Ocado is this week launching an online filmmaking competition inviting people to create a short film on the theme “my worst supermarket shopping experience”.

The online supermarket could also use the content in future marketing activity.

The winner of the competition, which runs until the end of September, will receive a year’s worth of free Ocado shopping.

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 customerservices@marketingweek.com

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