Supermarket chain Somerfield is vying to grab the media spotlight
from rivals Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Safeway and Asda with a national media
The company, which ranks fifth among the UK’s biggest supermarkets, has
hired Band and Brown Communications to run the programme, worth just
under pounds 100,000 in fees.
The appointment was sparked by the resignation of Somerfield’s agency
Corixa Communications at Christmas after ten months.
A core element of Corixa’s brief was to manage store re-launches as part
of a nationwide exercise to re-brand Gateway stores to the Somerfield
name. At the end of last year this local PR element was taken
Somerfield’s marketing department will now manage local PR for the 100
Gateway store refits.
Somerfield PR co-ordinator Carol Baker said she believed Corixa’s
decision not to re-pitch was due to the change in brief. The new brief
is designed to raise Somerfield’s media profile to the same level as its
four main competitors.
Band and Brown chief executive Nick Band commented: ’Supermarkets are
highly competitive in every activity including public relations. We need
to get Somerfield back on the agenda.’ he added. ’Journalists don’t
think of Somerfield first.’
Corixa managing director Helen Marsden told PR Week: ’after a lot of
discussions with Somerfield I felt they could no longer provide us with
an environment to add value to their business.’