Albertsons Corp. said it has extended its commitment to Hispanic marketing by enlisting the services of the agency Acento for three of its supermarket chains.
In doing so, the com pany shifts a segment of the account handled by its general-market shop, Duncan & Associates. The move involves Hispanic duties for Albertsons, Sav-on Drugs and Super Saver Foods. Duncan retains general-market ad duties.
"It's fiscally the only responsible thing we can do," said Jeff Weidauer, director of corporate advertising for the client. "It's an important part of the customers we serve day in and out, and growing."
Acento, a 30-person independent shop in L.A., will handle creative, media and PR aimed at Hispanics.
"This was an opportunity to work with an advertiser who's committed to the [Hispanic] cate gory and realizes the importance of it," said Acento account director Carlos Cordoba.
Billings were not disclosed, but Cordoba said the account is one of Acento's largest. The 2,300-store client, based in Boise, Idaho, spent more than $75 million on general-market ads for those three chains last year, and more than $40 million through June of this year, per CMR.
Acento's win followed a review. The process started in March with 13 shops before being narrowed to Acento, Duncan in Santa Monica, Calif., and one undisclosed shop.
"It isn't that Duncan wasn't doing anything properly, but there's a value in having people that specialize in this," said Weidauer.
Duncan created original ads for the Hispanic market with a Spanish translation of the general-market tag, "Albertsons. It's your store." Agency president Hugh Duncan said he respected Albertsons' decision. "We talked about it with them, and we even made some recommendations of agencies they might want to look at," he said.
Acento's pitch addressed the mind-set of the Hispanic female shopper and how Albertsons stores could best serve her shopping needs.
"They have strong media buying skills, a good group of current clients, they know the grocery industry and have a strong grasp of merchandising," said Weidauer. "I really liked a lot of the creative they've done."
Acento also works with such clients as Bimbo Bakeries, Blue Cross of California, Cacique USA, Epson America and Mervyn's.