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'Get a new agency Asda' advises Sainsbury's marketing chief

LONDON - Sainsbury's customer director Gwyn Burr has advised Asda to get a new advertising agency following its decision to rip off an old Sainbury's tagline.

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The comments follow Asda's decision to use the line 'Good Food Costs Less at Asda' in national press ads for its Extra Special premium food range this weekend. Asda's ad agency is Saatchi & Saatchi.

The line was originally launched by Sainsbury's in 1959, some six years before Associated Dairies launched Asda, and ran until 1991. Some might say the line has passed its sell-by date.

Speaking about the use of the line to The Times, Burr said: "As they say imitation is the greatest form of flattery, but it looks like they've run out of fresh ideas and are getting a bit desperate. Maybe all they want for Christmas is a new ad agency."

Asda has not always been as enamoured of Sainsbury's marketing. Shortly after he joined the supermarket in 2007, Asda chief marketing officer Rick Bendel ridiculed Sainsbury's 'Try something new today' campaign and said his store would become the "common-sense retailer".

Speaking about Sainsbury's Jamie Oliver-fronted ads, Bendel said: "We're not interested in one person's point of view. People are not going to eat chestnuts with bacon just because one person has said so.

"To many people, chestnuts are just conkers. There are pretensions, even when someone with a fake cockney accent tells people to eat them."

Whether imitating another retailer's marketing was the right decision or not, Asda has certainly chosen the right time and product range.

Christmas traditionally is the time of year when consumers are most likely to trade up to premium ranges. Supermarkets attempt to hook the customer and keep them buying premium in the new year.

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