Mischief picks up Asda food-and-drink brief as retailer bulks up in-house function

Engine Group agency Mischief has been appointed on a consumer retainer by Asda, but the supermarket is also looking to do more consumer PR work in-house after splitting with Freuds.

An Asda pizza: Mischief gets a slice of the action
An Asda pizza: Mischief gets a slice of the action

In September, Asda confirmed to PRWeek that it would end its near decade-long relationship with Freuds, as the retailer's new CEO looked to cut costs and its new corporate affairs chief decided to "look at our mix of in-house and agency support".

Mischief told PRWeek it had won the food-and-drink PR retainer following a competitive pitch.

It said its work would include improving perceptions of Asda’s own-brand quality and value, and creative seasonal campaigns.

Asda told PRWeek today it was looking to increase the size of its in-house consumer PR team, saying this was "a move that is in line with much of the retail market".

Asda vice president, corporate affairs Charlotte Cool, said: "Both Mischief’s retail credentials and creativity stood out to us in the search for a specialist food-and-drink agency."

Mischief CEO Frankie Cory, who will lead the account with creative director Greg Jones and head of food and drink Nishita Assomull, said Asda's "willingness to push creative boundaries to reflect the supermarket’s culture and personality makes us the perfect partners".

The Walmart-owned retailer, which has more than 165,000 staff across 606 UK stores, also works with Morrow Communications in Northern Ireland, Havas PR on regional comms, Lee Publicity on its George clothing line, IMP on social media, and does employer branding work with Edelman. These relationships are unaffected.

The retailer's HQ is in Leeds but it also has some staff in London, where Mischief is based.

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