drive internationality of Spar brand Elaine Watson Spar International has signed up top creative agency TBWA Hunt to develop a TV ad campaign spanning 12 countries in 10 languages. Launching in the autumn in countries from Ireland and South Africa to Germany and Slovenia, it will be the first major cross-border campaign to plug a retail brand, claimed Spar International md Gordon Campbell. The UK is not participating at this stage but may get involved later, he said. "We have put together a working group of the most experienced marketing directors in Spar to work with TBWA to create a campaign focusing on the internationality of the Spar brand. We've got a concept that will span across all these cultures." As production costs are shared between 12 players, the approach has also proved very cost-effective, he added. "Many Spar countries could not afford to do this alone." The campaign is one of a series of initiatives under way to leverage the global buying power of Spar, which has operations in over 30 countries. Pilot online auctions to procure Spar International own label goods from olive oil to tinned fruit are already generating substantial savings, said Campbell. The long-term plan is to turn the fledgling Spar International intranet into a transactional hub enabling members to search for and order indirect goods from utility contracts to store fittings from preferred suppliers online. "Purchasing on the internet is an important part of how we will operate in future," said Campbell. "But we were the pioneers at using our global scale in purchasing indirect goods [offline]." Spar will also strike another first this summer, becoming the first private label to sponsor a premium sporting event through its tie-up with Spar American Cola and the European Championships. The Spar International range is on course to grow from 170 lines to more than 200 by the end of the year, said Campbell. {{NEWS }}