German grocer Lidl has inked a deal with advertising agency TBWA as the retailer ramps up its marketing activity in a marked departure to previous strategy.

The traditionally publicity-shy grocer has signed up the agency, which is part of the Omnicom Group, to handle its UK advertising which it had previously run in house.

Lidl said the agency will handle its overall strategy and creative execution across its in-store, digital and local marketing. It is understood the partnership could ultimately lead to TV and national press adverts.

Lidl managing director Ronny Gottschlich said: “The appointment of TBWA London marks an exciting new chapter in our journey. They understand our potential for future growth, where our new customers lie and can deliver the messages that will take us there. We’re very much looking forward to working with them.”

TBWA UK president Lindsey Evans said: “It’s a real privilege to be Lidl’s agency of record. The Lidl story is a brilliant one and we look forward to sharing it with more of the UK.”

Nielsen data released yesterday showed Lidl sales grew 14.5% in the 12 weeks to February 2 and now holds a market share of 1.8%.