Spar poised for 5m UK drive

Spar UK, the country’s biggest convenience store symbol group, is to pool its advertising into one agency as part of plans to create a nationwide advertising approach for the regionalised chain.

Spar UK, which is part of Dutch group Internationale Spar Centrale, the world’s biggest retailer by number of stores, splits its operations into six retailer guilds, or regions, around the country.

The group is asking selected agencies to come up with an umbrella advertising strategy for the whole group, which will then be shaped to fit each region.

UK marketing director Neil Henry has drawn up a list of unnamed creative agencies, including incumbent Tenet, to present work next month. A decision is due at the end of June. Media buying for the resulting campaign, which will account for the bulk of Spar’s 5.7m marketing budget this year, may be pooled into one agency or spread among different companies according to each region’s media requirements, the retailer says.

Henry adds: “We are looking to create a common creative approach which will then be executed differently in the individual regions. I already have a clear idea of which regions will use TV, which radio, and so on.”

The move is part of ambitious plans for Spar this year, which include the Millennium Store package, a refurbishment programme aimed at refitting the chain’s 2,600 UK outlets over the next two years.

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