BBDO will be cooking up the first ad campaign for Internet startup EthnicGrocer.com, having bested five agencies for the estimated $10-15 million account.
The Chicago shop's proximity to the company, based in Evanston, Ill., was "a big plus," but more crucial were its "very deep resources," said Sami El-Saden, the dot.com's vice president of marketing.
Other agencies contacted included FCB Worldwide and Grant/Jacoby, both Chicago.
BBDO will work on a fully integrated marketing campaign to position and launch the brand, said agency evp Anne Dooley. The work will likely break early in the second quarter, following a site redesign.
"We're still working through the positioning," El-Saden said.
The account is a welcome replacement at BBDO for the Dominick's Finer Foods account, lost last May when parent company Safeway consolidated its advertising at Dailey & Associates in West Hollywood, Calif.
"It's an opportunity for us to use our background in food advertising," Dooley said.
EthnicGrocer.com offers a wide range of ethnic foods and ingredients aimed at gourmands and amateur cooks looking to make dishes with an international flair. The company has divisions featuring Hispanic food (QueRico.com), Chinese food and products (HuanYin.com) and Indian goods (Namaste.com).
The company, which launched EthnicGrocer.com in mid-1999, has backers including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Benchmark Capital.
The San Jose Group, Chicago, handles QueRico.com advertising; Kang & Lee, New York, has creative duties on HuanYin and Namaste. EthnicGrocer.com works with Jericho in New York for public relations. --Jenn Godd