Asda has drafted in new creative and media agencies as the embattled grocer bids to reconnect to its core customer base.

Asda, which posted a 5.8% slump in fourth-quarter sales back in February, has appointed Saatchi & Saatchi as its lead creative agency and Zenith as its new media agency. Both companies are part of the Publicis Groupe.

The supermarket giant has lost ground on its big four rivals as shoppers switched in their droves to discount duo Aldi and Lidl.

But the appointment of the two firms forms part of Asda’s Project Renewal strategy to transform its business by reviewing ranges, ploughing an additional £500m into price and breathing new life into its Save Money Live Better slogan.

That drive will be spearheaded by Asda’s new chief customer officer, Andy Murray, who joined the grocer from owner Walmart in February.

Speaking at Retail Week Live last month, Murray admitted that Asda had “lost focus” on what made the retailer “great” in the fierce battle with the German discounters.

He said the grocer needed to draw on its “assets”, including “talking about the Asda price” more at the heart of its turnaround efforts.

Following the appointment of Saatchi & Saatchi and Zenith, who have replaced VCCP and Carat respectively, Murray said: “We’ve made a big commitment within Project Renewal to our brand and we are making changes at pace that will differentiate Asda with our customers both in stores and online.

“I’m excited about this new partnership with Saatchi & Saatchi and Zenith and I look forward to the leadership, creativity, and effectiveness this new team will bring to our business.”

Publicis Groupe-owned Saatchi & Saatchi has worked with Asda on previous campaigns and the grocer said it was “the right partner to achieve its ambitions” as the grocery market undergoes “significant structural change”.

Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide chief executive Robert Senior said: “This is a crucial time for UK retail and we relish the opportunity to support Asda in driving a reappraisal of its brand by customers using the latest creative techniques and cutting-edge technology.”

Asda said the transition to working with Saatchi & Saatchi and Zenith would take effect immediately.