Sainsbury’s shops for a European lobbyist

Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s is in the hunt for a European public affairs consultancy. The retailer has seen pitches from five strategic and political agencies for a monitoring and lobbying account with a budget of up to pounds 100,000.

Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s is in the hunt for a European public

affairs consultancy. The retailer has seen pitches from five strategic

and political agencies for a monitoring and lobbying account with a

budget of up to pounds 100,000.



Among the agencies known to be on the shortlist are European Public

Policy Advisers (EPPA), David Wynne-Morgan’s strategic communications

consultancy WMC Communications and GJW Brussels. Sainsbury’s retains GJW

to offer public affairs advice in the UK.



EPPA last week formed an alliance with Lowe Bell Communications,

creating what is said to be the largest public affairs advisory group in

Europe.



Lowe Bell is Tesco’s lobbying firm in the UK.



’We’ve seen five companies but we don’t have a result yet,’ said

Sainsbury’s head of group public affairs Roger Saoul. ’We’re doing it

essentially to improve our levels of communication with the European

institutions.’



The weight given to consumer protection and public safety issues by the

European Commission is one reason for the retailer’s move.



Sainsbury’s also believes it can derive marketing advantages from

providing input for - and getting early interpretation of - EC

directives.



Longer term, it is thought to be considering expansion in mainland

Europe where at present it only has a toehold.



’They are looking for someone to work in co-operation with them in

defining strategy and on how best to approach European institutions,’

said GJW Brussels managing director Jurgen Koch.



’It’s to create a positive profile for them, not just when they want to

stop legislation but also so they are seen as a credible partner when it

comes to formulating legislation.’ Koch added that the successful

consultancy would be expected to provide Sainsbury’s with detailed

analysis of political and legislative activity.



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