Modern Marketing

Asda and Iceland hijack Tesco's Marmite dilemma via cheeky print promotions


By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

October 14, 2016 | 4 min read

Asda and Iceland have issued a series of cheeky national press campaigns following a spot of drama between Tesco and Unilever which saw the supermarket giant pull Marmite and Pot Noodles from its stores.

The yeast extract joined PG Tips, Hellmann's mayonnaise and Persil in being boycotted by Tesco as part of a row of post-Brexit price hikes from Unilever which has now been resolved.

Although the dispute was short-lived, the lack of Marmite provoked a wave of backlash from some British Shoppers, and was quickly dubbed 'Marmitegate'.

Asda and Iceland hijack Tesco's Marmite dilemma via cheeky print promotions

Asda and Iceland hijack Tesco's Marmite dilemma via cheeky print promotions

In response, the grocer's opportunistic rivals have today (14 October) taken out ads in the Daily Mail and the Metro offering readers promotions on Marmite following the Unilever-Tesco standoff.

Asda's tongue-in-cheek campaign (above) ran in the Metro, and proudly declared 'We Love Marmite,' while Iceland took it one step further and offered readers a free jar of the divisive spread with a front page splash in the Mail.

Free Marmite Daily Mail

A further half-page inside the paper advised readers to cut out the voucher and take it into their nearest Iceland to claim the freebie.

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While Tesco's move has been lauded by some marketers as "brave", others have suggested that it raises questions about bout the outlook for supermarket pricing, with Catherine Shuttleworh, founder of retail agency Savvy Marketing telling The Drum: "It is worth pointing out that this is the time of year when brands and supermarkets are deep in price negotiations.

"Unilever will certainly not be the only brand owner that is having challenging discussions with leading supermarkets, and we expect other grocery manufacturers will be seeking to increase their wholesale prices too. What is unusual about this case is that it is being played out on the front pages."

Iceland has been on somewhat of a roll with clever PR lately. Earlier this year it sponsored Iceland's national football team during their Euro 2016 bid, later rebranding its store England or Iceland to show support for its home country.

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