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$250 Mil. Safeway to DDB

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NEW YORK Omnicom Group's DDB in Chicago has won the estimated $250 million Safeway broadcast account, beating out one other finalist, Havas' Euro RSCG here, in the final round of a review, the client confirmed.

DDB pitched with Omnicom sibling PHD in San Francisco, which was awarded media planning and buying duties. (Euro RSCG had pitched in tandem with Havas' MPG media network.)

Final presentations took place Wednesday at the Pleasanton, Calif., client's headquarters.

"DDB rose to the top of the list in a number of ways," said Mike Minasi, senior vice president of marketing. "And that was not limited to just creative execution. They demonstrated how they would leverage DDB resources from the rest of the network and work with us. They showed tremendous collaborative spirit."

Work from DDB could break as early as the holiday season, but would more likely start next year. The tagline "Ingredients for life" will remain.

Three weeks ago, the supermarket chain executives cut WPP Group's Young & Rubicam from the review, followed by the withdrawal of Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, [Adweek Online, Aug 14].

Consultancy Pile and Co. in Boston managed the process, which began in early June when the incumbent, Interpublic Group's Dailey & Associates in West Hollywood, Calif., split with Safeway at the onset of the review.

Dailey's most recent campaign, which broke last year and continues to run, dovetails with the supermarket chain's attempt to upgrade and remodel its stores by installing wood floors and softer lighting at some locations.

Dailey has acknowledged Safeway as its largest account, and sources said the business accounted for roughly 15 percent of Dailey's 2005 estimated revenue of $85 million.

The client gave no rationale for the review beyond a statement that said, in part, "As Safeway continues to refine and evolve its consumer communications, we are focused and committed to partnering with an agency that will help us achieve our strategies and continue to build our brand."

Safeway operates more than 1,770 stores in the U.S. and Canada and last year reported sales of $38.5 billion. The chain's U.S. footprint is concentrated in the West, Midwest and mid-Atlantic regions.

—with Gregory Solman