Safeway considers regional TV ads

Safeway is considering a return to TV advertising after a two-year absence, as part of its regional marketing strategy.

The TV activity is likely to take the form of regional campaigns promoting the grocer’s low-price strategy rather than a national branding campaign. Safeway’s advertising is handled by Bates UK, which created the memorable “Talking toddlers” ads, and Zenith Media.

The supermarket, which once spent more than &£35m a year on advertising, pulled out of national advertising in November 1999 to concentrate on regional marketing campaigns, including local press advertising and flyers.

Last year chief executive Carlos Criado-Perez, a former Wal-Mart chief executive, ruled out a return to national advertising unless the supermarket became the “dominant player” in the UK.

Safeway this week announced it is axing its online shopping service, Collect, on trial in eight stores since April. It claims the money will be better invested in its core business.

The retailer, which last week posted improved first-half profits up eight per cent at &£180m, is also planning to launch a chain of discount stores either as a Safeway sub-brand or under a new name.

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