Tesco's financial arm fears knock-on effect

Tesco Personal Finance has admitted that media criticism of its grocery parent could damage its business.

TPF media relations manager Stuart Neill told PRWeek that recent hostile coverage of Tesco – which launched TPF with Royal Bank of Scotland nine years ago – was one issue new agency Haggie Hepburn had been briefed to tackle.

'As the media focus on Tesco shifts, we have to think about what might [cause] negative coverage,' he said.

In recent months Britain's biggest grocer has had to defend its dominance in the market; commentators have criticised it for creating uniform 'Tescoland' high streets.

Neill said TPF had moved the account out of six-year incumbent Lansons Communications because coverage needed to 'move off the personal finance pages' into more mainstream news.

TPF sells 17 financial products, including insurance, mortgages and credit cards. The group made £200m in 2004 and has around five million customers.

By comparison, Sainsbury's Bank made a £5m loss in the first six months of last year.

TPF typically markets its products through leaflets, targeting Tesco's 15 million weekly shoppers.

But TPF has also marketed National Savings & Investments products since September last year. The pilot scheme to market premium bonds and savings certificates has been extended to more than 700 stores.

QBO Bell Pottinger, Grayling and the Wrigglesworth Consultancy also pitched for the account.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

Max Clifford trial jury retires to consider indecent assault charges

Max Clifford trial jury retires to consider indecent assault charges

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford has retired to consider verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault after five weeks of proceedings.

Avoid being caught out on camera

Avoid being caught out on camera

Being caught on camera is a fact of life, so it is vital to ensure that organisations behave in the right way.

Online travel agent Ebookers appoints Shine

Online travel agent Ebookers appoints Shine

Online travel agent Ebookers has appointed Shine Communications as its retained agency following a competitive pitch at the end of last year.