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Italia/Gal Grilling Out

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BBQ Chain Wants L.A. Shop to Tell Its Story
LOS ANGELES--Italia/Gal Advertising has won a shootout for the $5 million account of specialty retail chain Barbeques Galore.
The Los Angeles shop prevailed over fellow finalist Heil-Brice Retail Advertising, Newport Beach, Calif. Incumbent The Phelps Group, Santa Monica, Calif., was eliminated in an earlier round.
"They liked our work, the strategic position we took. We analyzed their business pretty thoroughly and pointed out some opportunities that might have been overlooked in the past," said Ken Gal, chairman and chief executive of Italia/Gal.
The client also consolidated media buying--formerly at Carat ICG, Los Angeles--with Italia/Gal, Gal said.
Addressing the challenge the client faces from home improvement chains, hardware stores and superstores such as Wal-Mart, Italia/Gal developed the line, "Not a barbeque aisle, a barbeque store," said Gal.
"We have a story to tell, and that's what we will try to do," said Sydney Selati, president of Barbeques Galore, Irvine, Calif.
An integrated ad campaign is expected to break after the first of the year, said Selati.
"It will be electronic, newspaper, radio and television, though all four may not happen in all markets," Selati said.
He said the review had been initiated as a matter of routine.
"We got excellent service from the incumbent, but in retailing, one has to go through a review process every four or five years, and we wanted to see what else was out there," he said.
Working on a brand that is a "category killer" with much untapped potential is an exciting prospect, Gal said.
"They are already the world's largest chain of barbeque stores, and most of the world hasn't heard of them yet," he said.