Accenture's Karmarama succeeds TBWA as Lidl's creative agency

31 December 2018 Consultancy.uk

Advertising agency Karmarama has won a tender to provide creative services for global grocery chain Lidl. The Accenture-owned agency will take up the role in March 2019, and will work to create a fresh long-term brand strategy for Lidl in the UK.

German discounters Aldi and Lidl are both internationally known for their low prices and private-label products. The two companies have recently experienced a record rise in their market share with an additional rise in customers, and the duo were not highly affected by price rises against economic slumps, awarding the German retailers with a 12% share of the UK grocery market.

As Lidl looks to kick on from this impressive growth, it has appointed Karmarama to lead its creative agency, an account estimated to be worth £70 million. Lidl will task the Accenture-owned shop with creating a fresh long-term brand strategy "that will be brought to life across the customer experience in the UK", when it takes over from incumbent agency TBWA in March. According to industry news site The Drum, TBWA did not re-pitch for the business despite holding the account for five years, presenting Karmarama an opportunity for real coup in the wake of its loss of Iceland's ad account, after the retailer brought creative in-house.

Accenture's Karmarama succeeds TBWA as Lidl's creative agency

Claire Farrant, Marketing Director at Lidl said of the deal, "Karmarama demonstrated clearly at the final pitch and through the process, the team's strategic thinking and how that could be delivered creatively," she explained. Their ideas, we believe, could easily play out in the coming months to maintain our competitive edge versus the rest of the market. We are really looking forward to starting work together."

Ben Bilboul, Chief Executive at, Karmarama said, "Lidl is a brilliant challenger business - providing Britain with the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices. We’re elated at winning what is one of the biggest pitches of the year and excited to work with their inspirational team to help unleash the huge potential of the brand and drive its next phase of business growth."

When the news broke that consulting firm Accenture was set to purchase advertising agency Karmarama, the proposed deal was hailed as signalling the consulting industry was about to buy its way into the marketing services sector. Those inclinations were not wrong, and the deal sparked a 12 month feeding frenzy in which top-consulting firms splurged more than $1 billion on small and mid-tier agencies. Indeed, the purchase of Karmarama was by no means an isolated incident on Accenture’s part, either, and by the end of 2017, some sources were labelling the firm the world’s largest advertising agency.

Karmarama has since enjoyed growth, and its most recent accounts at Companies House for the 16 months to August 2017 – a period that covers both before and after the sale – suggest revenues strengthened by an estimated 15%. The growth in demand has in turn led to an enlargement of the firm’s headcount, and it recently announced the hire of 100 staff to better cope with the needs of clients.

Related: Lidl cancels SAP introduction having sunk €500 million into it.


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