Opinion: Marketing Society Forum - Has Tesco's Marketing Been Too Successful?

Article excerpt

As the UK's biggest retailer posts half-year profits of almost pounds 1.2bn, it continues to receive adverse publicity over the power it wields.

OLLY RAEBURN, MANAGING PARTNER, LIQUID COMMUNICATIONS

I would argue that it has. Tesco's continued success in every area of business it enters has been the fuel that has driven its ongoing growth As a multiple retailer, the power it now wields as a result of its marketing and business success has had a direct impact on the ways in which the brands it stocks communicate with their consumers through this vital channel.

This is so much the case that the desire for these brand owners to convey their offers, values and content to consumers, who they have fought hard to attract and retain, is overtaken and diluted by the need to conform to the overpowering weight and stifling restrictions of Tesco's own marketing guidelines.

GILES ROBERTSON, HEAD OF MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS, WWF

Tesco has taken steps to manage its carbon emissions and recycle bags, but has failed to manage broader issues and build sustainability into the brand.

As the 'Computers for schools' campaign rolled out, reports painted it as a CSR laggard in its use of chemicals, fair trade, fish and timber resources.

Meanwhile, M&S and Waitrose have been getting their houses in order and are well trusted by consumers. In fact, when it comes to its social and environmental record, 'Every little helps' could easily translate as 'We're not doing a lot'. The danger for Tesco is that its competitors will emerge as preferred brands. …