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    Safeway Picks Agency Partners for $250M Marketing Push

    PLEASANTON, Calif. - Gearing up to enter into the next phase of its "Ingredients for Life" marketing campaign, Safeway Inc. yesterday said it had awarded its $250 million advertising and media planning and buying accounts. DDB, Chicago, Ill., will handle the retailer's advertising, while PHD, San Francisco, Calif., will handle media planning and buying.

    PLEASANTON, Calif. - Gearing up to enter into the next phase of its "Ingredients for Life" marketing campaign, Safeway Inc. yesterday said it had awarded its $250 million advertising and media planning and buying accounts. DDB, Chicago, Ill., will handle the retailer's advertising, while PHD, San Francisco, Calif., will handle media planning and buying.

    "After a thorough review of potential partners, we believe DDB and PHD have the strategic perspective, creativity, and collaborative spirit we need to evolve and further differentiate the Safeway Brand," said Mike Minasi, s.v.p., marketing at Safeway.

    Safeway launched the $100 million "Ingredients for Life" brand repositioning campaign last year. It included branding and marketing elements as well as extensive advertising to promote its lifestyle format stores, which feature a strong emphasis on quality perishables, proprietary brands, redesigned stores, and service.

    The chain considers the marketing initiative the linchpin of its go-to-market strategy, one based on consumers. "We think of the shoppers first, then build a solution around them," Brian Cornell, Safeway's c.m.o. explained to Progressive Grocer during a recent visit to a lifestyle format store.

    Safeway operates 1,772 stores in the United States and Canada and had annual sales of $38.4 billion in 2005

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