Ad Amƒricas Takes On Hispanic Duties for Safeway

Ad Amƒricas has added a supermarket chain operator to its client roster, landing the Hispanic portion of Safeway’s advertising account.
The agency will launch a print, radio, TV and possibly outdoor campaign later this year for the Pleasanton, Calif.-based company, which owns the Safeway, Vons and Dominick’s supermarket chains.
The account is valued at $3-5 million. Safeway representatives did not return phone calls seeking comment.
“Safeway, Vons and Dominick’s already have a good base with the Hispanic market, but there is a tremendous upside for all three campaigns,” said Maria “Liz” Castells-Heard, president and partner of the Los Angeles agency.
Since Castells-Heard came aboard as president of Ad Amƒricas in 1998, the agency has managed to grow its billings from $8.5 million to just under $30 million, Castells-Heard said.
The shop, founded in 1985, has built its roster and reputation of late by working with blue-chip brands such as HomeBase, Cox Communications, McDonald’s and MediaOne, among others.
Castells-Heard credited the Safeway account win partly to her past work for The Vons Companies, a connection made when she served as executive vice president of client services at Valdes Zacky Associates, Los Angeles, in the early 1990s.
Ad Amƒricas’ recent growth is also reflective of the region’s burgeoning Hispanic population, which now accounts for about 45 percent of adults 18-34, Castells-Heard said.
“A lot of middle and upper management believe you can reach the Latino market via English language media, which is … erroneous,” she added.
In addition to Castells-Heard, the senior management team on the Safeway account will include svp, general manager Santiago Ograd—n, creative director Robert Sosa and vp, media director Raquel Tomasino. K