Heinz Serves Boston Market Entrees to DDB

DDB has won another assignment from H.J. Heinz Co., said sources. Later this year the shop will launch the client’s new line of frozen entrƒes, which will carry the Boston Market brand name.
The agency’s San Francisco office won the estimated $10-15 million account following a review of undisclosed agencies nationwide. The shop already handles creative duties for Heinz’s Weight Watchers and Budget Gourmet frozen entrees.
Heinz initially asked for credentials from 12 agencies, but quickly narrowed that list to four finalists, said sources. Those four each made creative presentations, and some of the work–including DDB’s–was even tested.
Suissa Miller, Los Angeles, lead agency for the 850-unit Boston Market restaurant chain, was not involved with the review. Leo Burnett, Chicago, lead shop for Heinz, was not a contender because Burnett client McDonald’s viewed the Boston Market-branded entrƒes as somewhat of a competitor, said one source.
DDB referred calls to Heinz. Executives with the Pittsburgh-based client could not be reached for comment.
In April, Heinz announced it had filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the District of Arizona seeking approval to license Boston Market trademarks for retail trade use. Parent company Boston Chicken, Golden, Colo., entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last October.
Heinz’s request was approved by the court in June. As part of a 10-year agreement, Heinz will pay Boston Chicken an undisclosed royalty fee based on retail sales.
Separately, Boston Market Acquisition Co., a Dallas-based leveraged-buyout group led by investor Jacob C. Baum, made an offer last week to buy most of Boston Chicken’s assets for $105 million in cash and the assumption of $35 million in liabilities. A buyout will not affect Heinz’s licensing agreement with Boston Chicken, said sources.