Tesco consolidates CSR work as it hands Launch Group 'Community CSR' brief

Tesco is putting all CSR work into one agency as part of a renewed focus on becoming a UK leader in community relations.

Schools and Clubs initiative: Tesco
Schools and Clubs initiative: Tesco

Launch Group has been asked by Tesco to handle the 'Community CSR' portfolio, following an agency pitch.

Launch Group CEO Johnny Pitt said: 'There is a very big piece on how people view Tesco in communities, and what Tesco stands for in the community. Part of our role is to help explain, educate and surprise around what the firm stands for.'

Pitt said the agency would be supporting a number of 'new developments' in Tesco's CSR strategy.

Josh Hardie, Tesco head of CSR, added: 'We need to ensure our customers and staff know how they can get involved in our broad range of community activities. Launch Group's strategic and executional strength can help to achieve this.'

The news comes in the same week as a PR blunder around the delisting of 11 Hovis products in a pricing dispute, including two lines that were aimed at raising money for The Poppy Appeal. Tesco is now donating £40,000 to the appeal.

Tesco has a long tradition of high-profile CSR campaigns, but has frequently come under fire for the impact it has on local retailers.

The brief, which is understood to be worth a low-to-middle six-figure sum, will pull together comms work on Tesco's Race for Life, Tesco for Schools and Clubs, FA Tesco Skills, The Great School Run and Charity of the Year projects.

Launch Group has formerly worked on Tesco's Race for Life campaign. Tesco for Schools and Clubs was previously handled by Resonate, which was also understood to have pitched.

The appointment, which begins immediately and lasts for one year, encompasses strategic advice, creative consultancy and internal and external PR implementation.

Pitt leads an integrated team of 12 with group account director Jackie Quilter, reporting to Hardie.

In December 2009, Tesco came fourth in the UK CSR Online Awards, which audits the CSR comms of the FTSE 100's 30 largest firms.

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