Supermarket Chain Hires Pile for Review

BOSTON Supermarket chain Hannaford Bros. has hired consultancy Pile and Co. to lead a review of its advertising account.

The Scarborough, Maine-based client spent $4 million in domestic measured media last year and about $3 million through the first seven months of 2006, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

“Due to growth of the company, they feel that now is the time to establish an agency-of-record relationship. They have been working with a variety of agencies to handle their marketing communications activities, but there is no incumbent in this review,” a Pile representative said. The process will likely conclude in January.

The chain operates about 150 stores in five Northeastern states: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont, with about 25,000 employees. The company is a unit of Delhaize Group in Belgium.

Portland, Maine-based Via, an independent shop that also maintains an office here, has worked for the client on various recent projects.

“We hope to be in the review, but no word yet,” said John Coleman, CEO of Via, which has a five-year relationship with Hannaford.

Sources said Pile and Co. has begun contacting small and midsize shops with a creative focus and retail background, and the client would prefer to work with an agency in the Northeast. The Pile rep would not elaborate on which agencies are being queried.