‘We had a very good relationship with Wonderful PR and were very happy with their results,’ said Tesco external communications manager Jonathan Church.
‘We were talking about their support and it became clear that what they wanted to do wasn’t along the same lines as what we wanted to do. We almost grew apart.’
Tesco has added three staff members to its in-house team to handle general and local PR, Tesco.com and its non-food brands, since March.
‘We strengthened our team and we had the skills available to us. The best way forward was to end the relationship by agreement,’ said Church.
There are no plans to review the position of the firm’s other agencies or to replace Wonderful PR, which worked for Tesco on a retainer for areas including Tesco.com, fresh and dairy produce.
Tesco uses Collette Hill Associates for human resources PR, Beechey Morgan Associates for health and beauty products, Talk PR for the Cherokee clothing brand and Maverick for the Florence and Fred clothing brand.
Wonderful PR managing director Alan Sleator said Tesco had been the biggest of its eight clients, but the agency had decided not to renew its contract. ‘We don’t work with competing clients,’ he said. ‘When we first started with Tesco there wasn’t a problem, but now it has expanded into so many new areas, the number of people we can work with is diminishing. Working with one big client is great. But it is not as secure as six clients.’
The agency most recently devised a campaign promoting the grocery retailer’s sweet onion, which was dubbed Supasweet (PRWeek, 19 September).