Asda has quashed rumours that Wayne Rooney is to be the new face of the supermarket, claiming that it is only trying to secure a deal for the football star to front its World Cup campaign.
An Asda spokesman rubbished reports that it was about to sign a multimillion-pound deal with Rooney and his girlfriend, Colleen McLoughlin. "We're in talks but would only be interested in working with them if they come on board at Asda price - not the reported £3m."
It would be a similar deal to the contract it had with Michael Owen during Euro 2004, he added, using Rooney across its football-related marketing throughout its 'summer of sport' campaign. However, although Asda confirmed that rising fashion icon McLoughlin was part of the plan, it would not give further details as to her involvement. Reports had speculated that she may design her own clothing range under the George label.
The revelations came as Asda launched the first of its new-look ads on Thursday (March 16) using the 'More for you for less' strapline in place of 'Pocket the difference'. The ads, which focus on the quality of its range rather than just low prices, highlight Asda's methods for sourcing milk, as well as the authenticity of ingredients used in its Italian and Indian ready meals.
Marketing director Richard Hodgson said the new strapline signalled an evolution in the way Asda thinks. "It is just one small element in a more radical shake-up within Asda. 'More for you for less' is exactly that; we aim to give our customers even more, without hitting them in the pocket," he said.
Asda is also planning to reinvigorate its in-store marketing activity through improved events, known within Asda as 'retailtainment'.
The new approach is part of Asda's wider strategy to make its fresh offer a higher priority.
>>p70 Asda sparks milk price cuts
Rachel Barnes