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.

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