Asda cannock

Source: Asda

Asda has appointed SMG as its new retail media network operator, ending an eight-year media planning and operations partnership with GIG Retail.

The partnership would “elevate” the supermarket’s retail media strategy, it said, as the revenue stream became an increasingly important part of its commercial strategy.

“This is an exciting time for Asda and the retail media industry, and we have decided to partner with SMG as we feel they can help propel Asda Media forward at a critical time for us,” said Jon Beill, senior director, media & insight commercialisation at Asda.

“We have ambitious growth plans and are investing in creating a market-leading retail media network,” he added.

The deal will see “a large number” of GIG Retail employees join SMG to continue to work on Asda’s media business. SMG’s proprietary software product Plan-Apps – which handles £1m of planned media spend a day – will be embedded into Asda’s technology stack, “enabling a smooth end-to-end planning, management, and measurement cycle for campaigns” SMG said.

“The Asda brand and loyal customer base allows for a truly exciting opportunity to build a sophisticated and innovative retail media offering for brands and we can’t wait to get stuck in,” said Sam Knights, CEO at SMG.

Asda is the latest in a long line of major retailers to work with SMG in the burgeoning area of retail media. SMG is behind Morrisons Media Group, a new advertising service for suppliers that launched in 2022. SMG’s agency Threefold runs retail media groups for Co-op, Boots and The Very Group.

Most major supermarkets have now launched a retail media proposition, seeking to monetise existing assets like space on their websites and apps and loyalty scheme data, as well as in-store signage and digital displays. Discounter Aldi looks set to be the next to join the trend, having earlier this month launched a ‘centre of excellence’ for a international retail media proposition, which will develop trials to inform “the development of a world-class media and advertising operation within the ever-changing grocery sector”, according to a job listing.

Research by Boston Consulting Group suggests advertising on retailers’ owned channels offers “robust margins” of 70% to 90%.