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BJ's Wholesale Club Selects Hispanic Shop

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ATLANTA BJ's Wholesale Club has selected Viva to handle the company's Hispanic advertising after a review of undisclosed shops.

The independent Miami agency will produce TV, radio, print and Internet advertising to help the Natick, Mass.-based client boost membership in the Hispanic community, 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 Hispanic advertising budget hasn't been determined, but Gonzalez said she expects BJ's to become one of the shop's larger clients.

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

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, Gonzalez said.

"They will do whatever is necessary to make it more inviting to Hispanic customers," she said.

WPP Group's Bravo Group had been BJ's previous Hispanic ad shop; it was unclear if Bravo defended.