$250 Mil. Safeway Cuts Y&R From Pitch

NEW YORK WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam has been eliminated from Safeway’s broadcast creative and media review, leaving three finalists vying for the estimated $250 million account.

The Pleasanton, Calif.-based client cut Y&R after its last round of agency meetings two weeks ago, said sources. Its New York office was leading the effort, with help from its San Francisco outpost.

An agency representative confirmed that Y&R was no longer a participant, but declined further comment.

The remaining contenders are Havas’ Euro RSCG in New York and Omnicom Group shops DDB in Chicago and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco. Final presentations will take place at the client’s headquarters during the week of Aug. 21, according to sources.

Boston-based consultancy Pile and Co. in Boston is managing the review.

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 and dovetails with the supermarket’s efforts to upgrade and remodel its stores, such as by installing wood floors and softer lighting.

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.