Albertson’s Acquisition Is a Boon for Duncan

Incoming American Stores Business Brings an Added $50-55 Mil.
LOS ANGELES–Duncan & Associates has gained a stronger presence in the supermarket category through longtime client Albertson’s recent buyout of American Stores.
The Santa Monica, Calif., agency earlier this month won an additional $50-55 million in billings through the deal, sealed in late June [Adweek, July 5]. There was no review. Its billings now exceed $100 million.
With the consolidation, Albertson’s becomes the second-largest food and drug chain in the U.S. Duncan, with service offices nationwide, adds the Lucky stores business, previously handled by Grey Advertising’s Los Angeles office, and Osco Drug Stores and Sav-on Drug Stores, previously at Lois Chicago (formerly Lois/EJL). (Lois retains ad duties for co-branded Osco and Jewel stores in Chicagoland.)
“We’ve had a long relationship with [Duncan president and chief executive officer] Hugh Duncan. He’s been part of our group for a long time,” said Craig Peterson, vice president of advertising at the Boise, Idaho-based chain. “With the relationship and confidence we have with [Duncan & Associates], they might as well be our employees.”
Duncan plans to expand its operation by moving offices and adding about 15 employees to its current staff of 30. “[The new assignments] are very exciting,” Duncan said. “We’re kind of a throwback agency, since we’re deeply involved in marketing as well as advertising. [Albertson’s] is rewarding us accordingly. … It’s the best kind of flattery.”
Jeff Alperin, chief executive officer of Grey’s Western division, said the shop has no immediate plans for layoffs as a result of losing Lucky, which it had handled for 13 years. “We kept this business until the last day possible. I’m extremely proud of what the agency accomplished,” he said.
Ed Holzer, president of Lois Chicago, said he did not expect layoffs as a result of the business shift. Pointing to the remaining Jewel and Osco business, he noted Albertson’s “is still a major client of ours.”
–with Aaron Baar