Grocer picks Bendel to head marketing strategy
Asda has lured the boss of one of the world's biggest advertising agencies to become its marketing director.

Rick Bendel, who is Publicis chief operating officer at present, will be tasked with reinvigorating Asda's brand as the supermarket works through a two-year recovery programme.

As a result of this programme, Asda's owner Wal-Mart hopes that the grocer will soon be in a position to challenge Tesco's growing dominance in the UK.

Bendel has worked with Asda for the past 17 years and was part of the team put together by Archie Norman and Allan Leighton in the early 1990s that transformed the fortunes of the Leeds-based company.

Besides working for clients such as Cadbury, Renault and BUPA, Bendel - who will take up his board-level position at the end of October - was responsible for the recent George clothing campaign that featured England footballer Wayne Rooney's girlfriend Coleen McLoughlin.

Bendel said: 'I have a passion for retail and have admired the Asda business for years - The opportunity to do this at a time of real innovation, and as part of a dynamic executive team, was something I couldn't pass up.'

Asda chief executive Andy Bond said Bendel was the 'perfect choice' and added: 'We're nine months into our two-year recovery programme and the business is firmly back on track. A fresh and invigorated approach to marketing is critical to the next stage of our recovery plans.'