UK’s Top Supermarket to Trial Instore TV Ads

03 April 2003

Although instore TV ads have been around for nearly forty years, the medium has never really taken-off and is regarded in much the same light as advertising on the reverse of bus tickets.

So Wednesday’s decision by Britain’s largest supermarket operator Tesco to pilot giant plasma instore screens carrying brand adverting and company promotions is seen as significant, perhaps heralding a breakthrough for this Cinderella medium.

But Tesco is giving little away. It spokesman would not confirm which sites will be used for the trials and when; nor who will be responsible for the content. He did, however, concede that Tesco spin-off brands such as personal finance and insurance are likely to be screened alongside “community elements”.

“Part of the trial will be to see where the screens will be most accessible. We're looking at shelves, entrance and exits and places with the most dwelling time. We are essentially starting from scratch,” he admitted. "There's not a product we can take off the peg and use."

Although Tesco claims that research indicates customer support for instore TV ads, industry cynics believe the real motive is to extract yet more cash from brand-owners.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff