Local ad agency picks up N.Y. grocery chain client

Maryland Watch

October 18, 1997

Baltimore advertising agency Gray, Kirk/VanSant is expanding its grocery chain client base with Buffalo, N.Y.-based Tops Markets Inc., a $5 million account, the agency said %J yesterday.

Tops Markets operates 219 stores, including Tops Friendly Markets in New York and Pennsylvania, and Finast Friendly Markets in Ohio. It previously used two agencies.

"The Gray, Kirk/VanSant team demonstrated strong knowledge of the grocery store chain industry, as well as an intuitive understanding of our markets," said Mike Coppola, executive vice president of Tops, which decided to consolidate its marketing.

Much of the agency's new business has grown out of existing accounts, which was the case with Tops, said Roger Gray, president of Gray Kirk.

Gray Kirk also handles a $12 million advertising account for Giant Food Stores Inc. of Carlisle, Pa. That chain -- no connection to Giant Food Inc. of Landover -- and Tops Markets are owned by the same parent company, Ahold, USA Inc.

"The success we've had with one brand has led us to pick up new business," Gray said.

Pub Date: 10/18/97

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