Viva Is Choice of Mass Merchant

ATLANTA BJ’s Wholesale Club has selected Viva to handle the company’s Hispanic advertising following a review of undisclosed contenders, the shop said.

The independent Miami shop will produce television, radio, print and Internet advertising to help the Natick, Mass., company recruit new members, said Linda Gonzalez, Viva’s CEO.

“They want to acquire more club members,” Gonzalez said. “We are putting a strategy into place to do that.”

The first work will break later this year, she said. The company’s advertising budget has not been determined, but Gonzalez said she expects BJ’s to become one of the shop’s bigger clients.

BJ’s in November selected Boston independent Connelly Partners as its principal agency following a review. The client spent about $1 million on ads last year after spending $7 million in 2003, per TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Gonzalez said BJ’s also plans to introduce more products that will appeal to Hispanic customers and install Spanish-language signs in its 156 stores in 16 states. “They will do whatever is necessary to make it more inviting to Hispanic customers,” she said.

WPP’s Bravo Group had been providing Hispanic advertising to the company before the review. The company did not disclose if Bravo defended the account.