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Checkout Girl: Nadine Coyle inks Tesco deal

Checkout Girl: Nadine Coyle inks Tesco deal

Coyle's debut album Insatiable will be released on her own Black Pen label on November 8, via an exclusive distribution deal with Tesco in the UK and Ireland.

Digital plans have yet to be announced - while Tesco's recent Faithless CD exclusive was sold digitally through iTunes, Tesco entertainment director Rob Salter says the decision on Insatiable will be made "based on what is right for the project and the artist, as well as Tesco".

Coyle's manager Bruce Garfield says there was significant interest in releasing her debut album from major labels, including Universal, home to Girls Aloud and Cheryl Cole. However, he says Coyle picked Tesco - the biggest retailer in the UK - because of its commitment to the artist.

"It wasn't just waving chequebooks at her," he says. "Tesco has a massive marketing campaign, which is innovative. It uses every aspect of Tesco's canopy of services: the entertainment section, the cosmetics section, Tesco card holders. Millions of people go to Tesco and they are one of the biggest advertisers on TV."

"There are so many methods of cross-promotion," Garfield adds, pointing to Tesco's decision to sell the Faithless album via its petrol stations. "Nadine is putting the launch of the rest of her life in the hands of a company that she trusts. And we will get their undivided attention."

Exact marketing plans are still to be confirmed but Salter says Tesco will use "all of the same" avenues it used to promote recent Faithless and Simply Red album exclusives "and some more". "There are very big plans around the Nadine album using all of the resources that are available to us," he adds. "More stores, more advertising, more above-the-line."

Tesco has also allowed Garfield to assemble a promotions team around Coyle using what he calls "the best independent people in town".

The veteran music business executive - his career includes stints at Capitol and managing Sinead O' Connor - is full of praise for Tesco, which he says represents "the perfect match" for Coyle. "Tesco are Nadine's target audience: young women and women in their early twenties," he explains. "That is the Tesco customer."

He also believes the retailer's close association with the brands it sells will benefit the launch of Coyle's solo career. "Artists and rec-ord companies are seeking brands. Tesco sells more of these products than every other retailer [in the UK]. They are closer to brands to do cross promotion than any label," he says.

The album was written by Coyle herself, with co-writes from the likes of Guy Chambers, Toby Gad and Desmond Child. It was produced by Chambers, William Orbit and newcomer Ricci Riccardi.

"People say she has the vibrancy of an artist in the earliest days of her career when they are the freshest," says Garfield. "Insatiable [also the name of the single, which precedes the album on November 1] has a completely innovative sound."

"I think it is a great mix of music," adds Salter. "My children love it and they keep playing it over and over. That is very encouraging."

Insatiable will be Tesco's third album exclusive, following Faithless's The Dance and Simply Red's Songs Of Love earlier this year. The former has sold almost 90,000 copies in the UK, while the latter has shifted 56,000 to date.

The move is part of a wider entertainment strategy at Tesco, which has also seen the supermarket get into film production and exclusively selling Robbie Williams' new autobiography. And while this has not always proved popular with everyone in the music industry - Salter says he has "struggled" to work with artists signed to labels, with Faithless, Simply Red and Coyle all self-releasing their albums - the entertainment director believes such exclusives are key for Tesco's ongoing involvement with music.

"We have had honest discussions with record companies. We know it can be difficult for them and we empathise with that. But the alternative is we see music continue to decline in terms of the space we give it in our stores," he says.

"The pressures on space in retail are huge. And there are lots of other categories that would like the space that we have."

Salter says that Tesco has more album exclusives up its sleeve - although he will not reveal who - but stresses that they will be limited to around three or four a year.

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