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Tesco Media & Insight appoints agency experts from Amazon and Pinterest as it expands retail media play

The growing importance of retail media to both retailers and agencies has been hammered home by two key appointments at Tesco Media & Insight Platform, a partnership between the UK’s largest grocery retailer and customer data science company Dunnhumby. 

Joining the Tesco Media & Insight Platform team in the newly created role of Head of Agency is Steve Edwards, currently Head of UK Agency Development at Amazon, with specific responsibility for building and executing trading agreements and joint business plans with leading agency groups. 

He will draw on this experience to develop and cement partnerships with agencies seeking to harness the unique power of retail media to deliver measurable value for Tesco Media & Insight Platform clients.

In his nine years at Amazon, Steve has fulfilled a variety of other key roles including Global Head of Agency Planning & Insight and Head of Emerging Ad Products.

Meanwhile, Russell Franklin will also join the team as Head of Client Business Development, with a remit to expand the role of Tesco Media among a broader range of clients, including non-endemic advertisers. 

He joins from Pinterest where he was most recently a Lead Client Partner for emerging clients. Having also held positions at Google and Zenith, Russell brings a wealth of digital experience with him.

Both Edwards and Franklin will report to Nick Ashley, Client Development Director at Tesco Media & Insight Platform, who says: “Retail media is no longer solely a bottom of funnel opportunity; increasingly, it is playing a broader role across the full marketing funnel for a wider range of clients. With agencies rapidly enhancing their capabilities in this area, and clients outside of FMCG increasingly aware of the opportunities retail media presents, now is the right time for us to extend the team further. To attract senior digital leaders of the calibre of Steve and Russell is a sure sign that Tesco sits firmly at the heart of the current media landscape.”

What this tells us about retail media today

Retail Media is one of the recruitment bright spots in the advertising world. However, the recruitment profile is changing.  For years, agency people stayed in agency land – and on the brand or retail side, those folks tended to not cross over into the agency world.  This should not be surprising as the skill sets are different. 

However, Retail Media is triggering a wholesale series of changes in how retailers can drive new revenues and how brands can acquire customers.  The skill set required to set up and operate a retail media network is much more like a media agency than classic retailing.  Retailers are good at retailing, not necessarily selling media.   There will be a lot more of these sorts of announcements from Retailers as they fill in gaps in their skill base.

Steve Edwards says of his appointment: “I am delighted to be joining Tesco Media & Insight Platform at such an exciting point in its development, with more and more agencies exploring the value retail media can deliver for both brands and customers. Indeed, the wealth of options available within retail media is enabling agencies to truly showcase their creativity and deliver measurable value for their clients.”

Russell Franklin adds: “Interest in retail media continues to grow exponentially, not least among non-endemic advertisers – an area which represents a huge opportunity for Tesco Media & Insight Platform. I look forward to playing my part in supporting those businesses in harnessing the power of retail media to support their commercial ambitions.”

Retail Media Networks are the focus of a brand new RetailX Events conference this June. 

MediaX explores the experiences of well-established retailers in this space to new entrants and the agencies who are helping make things tick. For the full list of speakers, agenda and to register – click here.

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