Asda to drop slogan and boost marketing to £45m in image revamp

LONDON - Asda to drop its long-running 'Always low prices' slogan in a major revamp and repositioning of the Wal-Mart-owned supermarket group, which will boost its marketing spend to £45m to match that of rival Tesco.

Out also goes the "Asda Price" jingle, which has accompanied Asda shoppers slapping their behinds in numerous television ads.

Asda had already decided to part company with its celebrity spokeswoman Sharon Osbourne, the 'X Factor' judge and wife of the rock legend Ozzy. It revealed it had ended her contract in September.

The repositioning follows the departure last month of Asda marketing director Chris Pilling, who left the company without a job to go to after four years in the role. His responsibility went to brand director Richard Hodgson who took on the new title of brand and marketing director.

Asda has been struggling, partly under pressure from a resurgent Sainsbury's, which is closing in on its spot as the second-biggest supermarket. Asda's market share for the 12 weeks to January 1 was 16.7%, compared with Sainsbury's 16.2%, according to TNS. At the present rate of change, Asda could lose its position within six months.

The "Always low prices" slogan, which is 30 years old this year, is to be replaced by "More for you for less", as the group attempts to focus on the buzz words of quality and freshness.

The new slogan will be launched next week in a new television ad campaign, which will be created by the retailer's agency Publicis, backed by the increased marketing spend. The Asda account had been worth £38m before the budget increase.

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