The review also included media-buying and -planning duties, which are moving to DDB's Omnicom sibling PHD. The pair bested Havas' Euro RSCG and MPG in the final round.
The agencies didn't return calls for comment. The review was managed by Boston-based Pile & Co., which did not return calls for comment.
Dailey didn't defend
Interpublic Group of Cos.' Dailey & Associates, Los Angeles, the incumbent, had worked with the $38 billion chain of 1,771 stores for nearly a decade. The early-June review came only a little more than a year after the agency helped the Pleasanton, Calif.-based chain reposition itself with the tagline "Ingredients for Life," which is credited with raising brand awareness and fueling the second year of a turnaround at the chain. Dailey did not participate in the review.
By late June, Safeway had narrowed contenders to six: Interpublic's McCann Worldgroup and WPP Group's Y&R Brands, both based in New York; Interpublic's Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich.; Omnicom's Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco; and the two finalists.
In mid-August, the contenders were winnowed to two: Euro RSCG and DDB. Safeway cut McCann Worldgroup, Y&R Brands and Campbell-Ewald, and Goodby withdrew, saying it didn't have the time or manpower to do a good job.