Asda has swooped on advertising network Publicis to poach global chief Rick Bendel as its new group marketing director.
Bendel, currently chief operating officer of Publicis Worldwide – the world’s fourth largest marketing services group – has had close links to Asda for many years.
Publicis has created advertising campaigns for the UK’s second-biggest grocer for the last 17 years. Bendel is credited with playing a part in some of the retailer’s major marketing moves, including the launch of its “Rollback” concept in 1999.
Joining the Leeds-based company at the end of this month, Bendel is to have a seat on the board and will report directly to Asda chief executive Andy Bond. Bendel will be responsible for Asda’s marketing department and advertising strategy, as well as developing the Asda and George brands.
Earlier this year, Asda marketing director Richard Hodgson quit the role to join rival Waitrose as buying director.
Bendel says: “I have a passion for retail and have admired Asda’s business for years. As well as having a deep understanding of its history and heritage, I can bring fresh ideas on where to take the brand.”
He adds: “Travelling the world and managing an exciting list of international clients has been fun, but it is time to trade the departure lounge for time with my family.”
Bond states: “It’s great to be welcoming Rick to the Asda business in such a critical role. His understanding of the brand will be invaluable in driving real change in how people see us.”