Regional grocery chain Tops Markets is considering six semifinalists to handle its estimated $15-20 million integrated marketing account.
Jan Apple, the Minnetonka, Minn., consultant handling the process, confirmed the review but declined to name the six contenders.
Included in the review are shops in the Midwest and Northeast, as well as Canada, according to sources.
Executives from the Williamsville, N.Y., company will narrow the list to three finalists in mid-May, Apple said. A decision is expected by the end of May, she said.
The client could not be reached at press time.
The account had been handled by Gray, Kirk/VanSant Advertising & Public Relations. The Baltimore agency resigned it in March after being named agency of record for Shoppers Food Warehouse [Adweek, March 6].
Tops Markets spent a shade less than $2 million on advertising last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Ad spending for 2000 has been estimated at $3 million. The integrated nature of the account currently in review, however, is expected to increase the value of the account to the $15-20 million range, Apple said.
Tops operates nearly 220 supermarkets and convenience stores under the Tops Friendly Markets
and Wilson Farms names, primarily located in New York and Ohio.
The company is owned by the Royal Ahold conglomerate of grocery stores, which is based in the Netherlands.