P&G, Tesco, O2: 5 things that mattered this week and why

Catch up on all the marketing news from this week including P&G’s new agency model, Tesco’s Clubcard plans and Asos’s views on Instagram shopping.


P&G reinvents agency relationships with new model that combines talent from rival agencies

Procter & Gamble has been promising to rid the ad world of its “archaic Mad Men model” and the company’s chief brand officer Marc Pritchard revealed the latest step in that strategy this week with a new agency model for creative that aims to get talent crossing the holding group boundary.

The as-yet unnamed agency will combine the very best people from WPP, Publicis and Omnicom to deliver campaigns for P&G’s US fabric brands. The idea has been dubbed the ‘People First model and the agency will be headed up by Andrea Diquez, chief executive of Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi in New York.

It’s hard to imagine how rival agencies can work cohesively in a group considering they are first and foremost competitors. And this model could lead to creatives one-upping each other rather than harnessing each other’s talent in a cohesive environment, plus it raises questins over how to divvy up the budgets. Yet despite these reservations, the model has already been used on this on this year’s Super Bowl Tide brand which was very well received.

It will be interesting to see if this sparks other brands to follow suit and try to combine different agency talent but without P&G’s status as the world’s biggest advertiser forcing rivals to work together might prove more tricky.

READ MORE: P&G shakes up agency models as it puts the focus back on creativity

Tesco gets Clubcard back to rewarding loyalty

tesco clubcard

We’ve been waiting some time for radical changes to Tesco’s Clubcard loyalty programme. All the way back in 2014, the then Tesco CEO Philip Clarke pledged that a fully digital scheme offering tailored, gamified rewards would be ready by the autumn. Fast forward three and a half years and all we’ve had is an update that adds contactless technology to the card.

Over those years, however, the rest of the loyalty sector has moved on in leaps and bounds. Marks & Spencer introduced Sparks, a fully digital scheme that offers tailored, gamified rewards (sound familiar). While others such as Sky and, last week, Sainsbury’s have moved beyond simply rewarding money spent to looking at rewards for customer longevity.

It’s about time Clubcard got an update too. Tesco has laid the groundwork with the move to contactless and the introduction of Pay+, its mobile payments service and now CEO Dave Lewis is promising that is an “awful lot more we can do”. No details on what that looks like, but Clubcard could do with a real rethink if it wants to go back to being an industry leader in loyalty.

READ MORE: Tesco readies more changes to Clubcard as it looks to get back to ‘rewarding loyalty’

O2 sees collaboration as the future of creativity as it brings agency partners together

Hot on the heels of P&G’s move comes O2. Since the end of last year, it has been examining how it can get its agency partners working better together to drive innovation and creativity. And it believes key to that is collaboration.

That means for three days a week all its agencies, from VCCP in creative to Havas in media and LIDA in CRM, co-locate in one office to bounce ideas off each other. The best ideas can come from anywhere, CMO Nina Bibby believes, and by getting its best minds together it can get to those ideas faster.

The shift has already led to some major creative work including Ooops, which promotes its screen replacement service, and the new Follow The Rabbit campaign. As part of that, it has experimented with new media including Snapchat and Spotify, and just last week launching a four-week long partnership with All 4 to find ‘The gig that changed my life’, work that was created by its media agency rather than VCCP.

Bibby admits this new way of working has raised challenges, both with its agencies and internally. And there are likely to be more questions in the future. It’s great for a media agency to be having creative ideas, but there’s a concern they all start stepping on each other’s toes.

READ MORE: O2 brings separate agency partners together in move to foster creativity

Asos sees the opportunity and the threat in social shopping


Asos has entered 2018 on a high, with retail sales up 27% in the six months to February 2018 and group revenues rising 27% to £1.16bn. It points to a strong ecommerce business that is working especially well at a time when traditional high street retailers are struggling amid a perfect storm of rising inflation, decreasing consumer confidence and a move online.

However, as platforms like Instagram look to disrupt the current ecommerce model, with the Facebook-owned platform rolling out its own shopping feature last month, the likes of Asos might be about to face battles of their own, with its CEO admitting he is not sure whether these new ways of shopping will have a positive or negative impact on his business.

“On one level [Instagram shopping] could absolutely turbo-charge our experience for 2017,” Beighton said on a results call this week. “On another level, it could be a real threat.”

However, with Instagram being Asos’s most popular social platform with more than 7 million followers, Beighton said he is willing to experiment if it makes the experience more frictionless for customers – even though he’d rather people shopped directly on the Asos website.

It will be interesting to see over the next 12 months what impact this has on both traffic to the Asos website and sales conversions – alongside the impact of GDPR, which Beighton is already anticipating will result in a “small decline” in sales.

READ MORE: Asos – Instagram shopping could either turbo-charge our business or threaten it

Startup Own The Look turns to crowdfunding to fund its digital marketing plans

Own The Look

Online fashion retailer Own The Look has turned to crowdfunding as it looks to bolster its digital marketing activity. As a new business owner, co-founder Olivia Cantillon is all too aware how challenging the retail landscape is but she’s confident that if she can get people to her site they will buy, so 100% of the £250,000 she hopes to raise is going to be spent on marketing.

As a former fashion and beauty editor, Cantillon has extensive styling experience which is key to Own The Look’s proposition. Rather than offering individual pieces, she creates outfits made up of pieces from emerging designers that consumers can buy in their entirety to ‘own the look’.

It’s a sad fact that the majority of new business fail so the fact Cantillon plans to invest so heavily in marketing is positive. What’s key, however, is that she waited until the business was up and running, with any early teething problems ironed out, so that as Own The Look ramps up its marketing efforts the business will be able to cope with the increased demand.

“It’s all well and good having a great site and great product but if no-one knows about it what’s the point? We know we need to spend money marketing the brand in order to get people onto the site,” she adds. Once they do, she’s confident they will buy given 30% of customers return to buy again.



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