VCCP Blue – which counts Molson Coors, Comparethemarket and Npower among its other clients – replaces Saatchi & Saatchi, which became Asda’s lead creative agency in 2009.
In that time Asda has made several changes to its internal marketing team including appointing Stephen Smith as CMO in 2012 and recruiting former Molson Coors managing director Chris McDonough as marketing director in May this year.
The other agency in the final stage of the pitch to win the account was JWT London.
In a statement Smith says: “When it came to final round, one agency stepped beyond all others with their strategic thinking, endless creativity, and knowledge of our customer – and this agency was VCCP Blue from London. They understood us and most importantly, we were impressed with how they were able to capture our brand personality and voice to communicate our assets with a clarity and simplicity.”
Of Saatchi and Saatchi, he adds that VCCP Blue will have a “tough act to follow”.
Last month Smith told Marketing Week the winner of the pitch would be an agency that could provide “new ideas” and “new thinking” to break through the “cluttered” real marketplace.
He added the challenge would be to create innovative and creative communications “every day” – not just month to month or campaign to campaign – so that the supermarket can be known for quality as well as just price.
Sales from stores open for a year or more increased just 0.7 per cent in Asda’s second fiscal quarter, the three months to 5 July. It is likely to supermarket may have been expecting faster growth in a period when the hot weather had Britons stocking up on BBQ ingredients. The British Retail Consortium reported food sales drove a 2.2 per cent increase in overall retail sales in July.
Asda is struggling to maintain its share of the supermarket sector amid growing competition from discounters Aldi and Lidl and continued growth from upmarket competitors Waitrose and Sainsbury’s. Asda’s share of UK grocery spending fell to 17 per cent in the 12 weeks to 7 July, down from 17.3 per cent a year earlier, according to Kantar Worldpanel data.