Asda restores ‘pocket tap’ ads in downturn

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The Independent Online

Asda has revealed it will reintroduce its signature “pocket tap” television advertisements, as it posted strong full-year sales and revealed that customers are seeking out nostalgic products and brands they trust during the credit crunch.

The Wal-Mart-owned grocer has not used the famous ads for 18 months, but said it would revive them over the next couple of months.

Asda delivered like-for-like sales up by 6.5 per cent, excluding fuel, in 2008 and the growth accelerated over the year to 7.2 per cent in its fourth quarter. It said it had maintained the sales momentum into 2009.

The grocer said that its sales of branded products were growing at 10 per cent, year on year – 2 per cent ahead of its own-label lines – as customers flock to trusted brands, such as Bird’s Custard, Heinz beans, Fray Bentos and Vimto, during the downturn.

Asda called for planning restrictions to be eased that woud allow it to spend “tens of millions of pounds” opening stores and creating thousands of jobs.