Tesco turns to Hanover as turnaround beckons
Charles Lewington's agency wins major UK-wide retainer with supermarket giant.
Tesco has selected Hanover Communications to handle its UK-wide public affairs following a competitive pitch, PAN has learned.
The supermarket giant has retained Lexington Communications since 2013, but it is understood that Mike Craven’s agency did not take part in the recent pitch process.
It comes after Tesco’s group government affairs director Victoria Gould, a former adviser to Tony Blair, left the firm last year to become corporate affairs director at Britvic. She is yet to be replaced.
Hanover will now line up alongside Tesco's retained corporate communications agency Teneo Blue Rubicon. Sources familiar with the pitch process suggested that Teneo had been hoping to land the public affairs business as well.
Tesco's turnaround gathered momentum last month as it unveiled a spike in operating profit. Investors welcomed Tesco’s results as a sign the supermarket giant is "back on track", even though it reported a 28% profit drop and a pension deficit two times higher than the previous year.
The new UK-wide public affairs account was described by one insider as a "refreshed brief". Hanover chief executive Charles Lewington said in a statement: "We’re delighted to be working with Tesco at such an important time for the business and the retail sector. We look forward to helping the company continue to communicate its turnaround and commitment to serving its customers a little better every day."