Shaw’s Semifinalists

Shaw’s Supermarkets is seeking a conservative creative approach from the semifinalists named last week in the review for the client’s estimated $3-5 million advertising account, sources said.

Incumbent Allen & Gerritsen in Watertown, Mass., has an automatic berth in the final round of the competition, which is being run by consultants with Pile and Co. in Boston. Looking to join A&G are Clarke Goward, Con nelly Partners/CGN and Cronin/Wallwork Curry, all in Boston; Duffy & Shanley in Providence, R.I.; and New York agencies Bouchez, Kent + Co. and Gotham.

The West Bridgewater, Mass., client wants contenders to take a traditional, retail-minded approach, as opposed to its some of its edgier, image-driven ads of the recent past, sources said.

That work included commercials for the sibling Shaw’s and Star Market chains tagged, “The choice is yours.” The work featured a pair of male spies—apparently in the employ of a rival grocery concern—infiltrating client stores while disguised in women’s clothing.

Those ads broke a year ago from Boston’s Greenberg Seronick O’Leary & Partners, which has since been absorbed by A&G.

Sources praised both agency and client for taking an offbeat ap proach in an often staid category, but said Shaw’s was displeased by the mild controversy stemming from the somewhat risqué campaign.

Finalists will be chosen following capabilities presentations over the next two weeks. The client has not given a rationale for launching the review, and a Shaw’s rep offered no further information last week. There are 185 Shaw’s and Star Market locations throughout New England.