Tesco, Britain’s Largest Grocer, Leaves Wieden + Kennedy for BBH

Coveted account spends $170 million annually

The London office of Bartle Bogle Hegarty is the new creative lead for Tesco, the U.K.'s largest retailer and one of the country's biggest ad spenders, at nearly $170 million a year.

The Publicis Groupe agency replaces Wieden + Kennedy, London, which won the business in 2012 after a highly competitive review. 

As a result of the Tesco win, BBH London issued a statement saying it has resigned Tesco's U.K. competitor, Waitrose.

"A unique opportunity has presented itself with Tesco, and we are looking forward to working with [new Tesco CEO] Dave Lewis and his team," said Neil Munn, CEO of BBH Group.

Tesco has always been one of the U.K.'s most coveted ad accounts, but in the past year or so, the retailer has been plagued with an accounting scandal, declines in sales, profits and share price, and top executive departures. Tesco is also losing market share to discount chains like Aldi and Lidl.

Tesco was long a mainstay client at IPG's Lowe before moving to startup London shop The Red Brick Road, which Frank Lowe launched to service the business, before moving on to Wieden.