Safeway has moved the creative portion of its estimated $30-35 million ad account to Dailey & Associates from longtime partner McCann-Erickson. Dailey already handles creative duties on the estimated $25-30 million account of Safeway subsidiary Vons Markets.
A representative for Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway said the shift was not "a major change in responsibilities" for either shop, and that the company's relationships with both are "good and active."
Media buying duties for Safeway will remain at McCann in San Francisco, the representative said. McCann executives declined to comment.
Brian Morris, president of Dailey in West Hollywood, Calif., said his shop has been working with Safeway since the company acquired the Arcadia, Calif.-based Vons and Pavilions chains last year. Western International Media, Los Angeles, continues to handle media buying for Vons.
"There is a lot of commonality of programs," said Morris. "Much of the work we've done for Vons is relevant to Safeway. We've gotten to know each other over time."
McCann may not be out of the picture creatively for Safeway, said sources. The agency may be considered for creative and/or media duties for Chicago-based Dominick's Supermarkets, a 112-store supermarket chain that Safeway recently agreed to acquire for $1.2 billion. BBDO, Chicago, currently handles ads for Dominick's. Dominicks executives could not be reached for comment. Safeway executives declined to comment.
Safeway, which operates some 1,300 stores nationwide and bills itself as the second-largest food and drug retailer in North America, spent about $28 million on ads in 1997, and $16 million in the first half of 1998, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Separately, McCann is pitching the $5-10 million account of longtime client Pacific Gas & Electric. The San Francisco office is also seeking an executive creative director to replace Dave Tutin, who left this month for Grey Advertising, New York.