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Deutsch/LA Wins Diamond Foods

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Diamond Foods has selected Deutsch/LA to handle creative and media duties on its line of snack products, capping an unusually long search process that began in May, the client has confirmed.

The winner bested three other finalists that sources identified as WPP Group’s Ogilvy West in Culver City, Calif., and independent shops Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners in Sausalito, Calif., and Mother in New York. Account revenue is estimated at $2 million.

Deutsch/LA, an Interpublic Group shop whose office is in Marina del Rey, Calif., succeeds Omnicom Group units Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco (creative) and PHD in San Francisco (media) on the business.

In making the hire, Diamond chief marketing officer Andrew Burke cited Deutsch’s creativity, energy and grasp of the category as well as Diamond’s brands. “They’re what I would call a true business partner,” Burke added.

Said Deutsch/LA CEO Mike Sheldon: “With these guys, we saw the perfect cultural match. We’re both extremely aggressive in an extremely civil way.”

Goodby split with the client after landing conflicting snack brand assignments—including Doritos, Cheetos and Tostitos—from the Frito-Lay division of PepsiCo. At the same time, Diamond, a nuts and popcorn marketer, acquired chip maker Kettle Foods.

Diamond’s brands include its namesake nuts, Emerald nuts and Pop Secret popcorn. Major media spending on those brands exceeded $10 million last year and $6 million in the first nine months of 2010, according to Nielsen. Those figures don’t include online spending.

Ark Advisors in Playa del Rey, Calif., managed Diamond’s review.