Tesco hires new group brand director as it continues to reshape its marketing team

Tesco has hired former Barclays CMO Michelle McEttrick as its new group brand director as the retailer continues to shake up its marketing department under new boss Dave Lewis.

McEttrick, who will join from 18 May, will bring a “diversity of expertise and experience” to the role, according to Robin Terrell, group customer officer at Tesco.

“She is a passionate, creative customer champion, and will be a real asset to our business,” he said.

Last month, Sherry Cramond, brand marketing director, and David Wood, managing director for health and wellbeing, both left Tesco, as the retailer continued to shake up its senior team.

The appointment appears to tie in with Tesco’s decision in January to drop its creative agency Wieden + Kennedy in favour of BBH, as part of the turnaround to address its falling brand reputation and to fulfill a more integrated brand strategy. McEttrick was previously business director at BBH for four years.

Terrell added: “Her experience spans working on and leading the rejuvenation of British Airways and Barclays at BBH, to building the world’s largest digital food brand, allrecipes.com, and working for agency clients including Coca-Cola and Frito Lay.”

This week, having posted a £6.38bn annual loss, the worst in its 96-year history, Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said the supermarket giant would turn to BBH to ‘bring new life to the Tesco brand.’

He said: “When it comes to BBH and our other agencies, we can now articulate the brand and bring it to life in a way it hasn’t been in the past, but that will be through a combination of communication and improvements to the in-store experience.”

Tesco, over the four weeks ending 28 March [Nielsen], was the fifth biggest spender on advertising out of the UK’s biggest supermarkets, dropping its investment the most significantly. Lewis’ cautious approach saw ad spend fall by 138% to £3.1m, falling behind the discounters Aldi and Lidl.

However, Lewis hinted that he will continue to be cautious when it comes to Tesco’s marketing spend, with McEttrick expected to be given a strict ad budget.

“Yes, I am concerned about Aldi and Lidl’s ad spend but what I am learning in retail is the biggest impact you can have for someone’s appreciation of a brand is what they experience when they walk into your door.”