2 Remain in $250 Mil. Contest

BOSTON Omnicom Group’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners has exited Safeway’s broadcast creative and media review a week before final presentations, leaving two shops to pursue the supermarket chain’s estimated $250 million account.

Still in the hunt are Havas’ Euro RSCG in New York and Omnicom’s DDB in Chicago, said Judy Neer, president of Pile and Co., the Boston-based consultancy overseeing the review. No other agencies will be added in the wake of Goodby’s departure, she said.

Goodby in San Francisco withdrew owing to its workload and other client commitments, said Neer, but she did not elaborate. Agency officials did not immediately return calls.

The Pleasanton, Calif.-based client cut WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam after its last round of agency meetings two weeks ago, said sources [Adweek Online, Aug. 10]. Y&R’s New York office was leading the effort, with help from its San Francisco outpost.

Final presentations will take place at the client’s headquarters the week of Aug. 21.

The incumbent, Interpublic Group’s Dailey & Associates in West Hollywood, Calif., split with Safeway at the onset of the review and is not participating [Adweek Online, June 6].

Dailey’s most recent campaign, which broke last year and continues to run, uses “Ingredients for life” as a theme. That effort dovetails with the supermarket chain’s attempt to upgrade and remodel its stores by installing wood floors and softer lighting at some locations.

Safeway operates more than 1,770 stores in the U.S. and Canada and last year reported sales of $38.5 billion, according to Hoovers Online. The chain’s U.S. footprint is concentrated in the West, Midwest and mid-Atlantic regions.

The winning agency will create broadcast ads and plan and buy media. Strategic planning and promotional marketing also are part of the assignment.