Gray Kirk Vansant Advertising and Public Relations has been named agency of record for grocery chain Shoppers Food Warehouse. Annual billings are $5 million.
The Baltimore agency immediately announced it is resigning as agency for Tops Markets, a Cincinnati-based string of stores owned by the Royal Ahold grocery conglomerate, effective at the end of this month. Annual billings for Tops for 2000 are estimated at $3 million.
Shoppers Food Warehouse, headquartered in Lanham, Md., is a recently acquired division of SuperValu, based in Minneapolis. It operates 38 stores in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia.
"We are very excited to apply the significant grocery industry knowledge and experience we have acquired over the years to the Shoppers Food Warehouse account," said Roger Gray, agency president and chief executive officer. "Gray Kirk Vansant will build Shoppers Food Warehouse's brand awareness and image in an effort to thrust it past the number one and two [stores] in the market."
Giant and Safeway are the primary grocery stores in the region. Other major competitors include Food Lion and Superfresh.
Representatives for Shoppers Food Warehouse did not return phone calls.
Gray Kirk Vansant did not disclose other contenders for the account. A source, however, said the incumbent was the Laurel, Md., office of Advertising Ideas, which is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A phone number for the Laurel office was disconnected. Attempts to call the Cedar Rapids headquarters were unsuccessful last Friday.