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Supermarket Growth At Gray

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WASHINGTON, D.C.-Gray, Kirk Vansant (GKV) in Baltimore has added more business from Dutch food retailer Royal Ahold NV despite client realignments, mergers and changes in management structure.
Insiders said last week that the agency nabbed the estimated $5 million Tops-Finast ad account, bringing GKV's business with Ahold NV from about $2 million a little more than a year ago to some $17 million today.
"I still maintain that most of our growth is going to come from existing clients," said Roger Gray, chief executive officer of the agency. "I think the work that we've done for Giant Foods shows our knowledge and ability in that category. We've helped them maintain the leadership position."
Previously, Wyse Advertising of Cleveland handled a portion of the Finast business.
Recently, Ahold USA in Atlanta reported it would merge Finast of Maple Heights, Ohio, into a new division headed by Tops Markets of Williamsville, N.Y. On July 30, Ahold said it would integrate Edwards Super Food Stores into Giant Foods of Carlisle, Pa.
Giant Foods, which is also owned by Ahold, chose the Baltimore shop for its consolidated $6-10 million account last February following a review. GKV, which had already handled Giant before the realignment involving Giant and Edwards, added Edwards to its roster at that time.
Edwards had been handled by Mintz & Hoke in Avon, Conn., which did not participate in the review. Tierney & Partners in Philadelphia and W.B. Doner in Baltimore were runners up for the consolidated advertising account.
Under last year's realignment prompted by Ahold's purchase of Stop & Shop Cos., the Edwards chain left New England in the consolidation with Giant.
Edwards has shifted its geographical focus from Connecticut to New York, Long Island and New Jersey.