THREE AGENCIES CONTINUE IN SUBARU AD REVIEW

But List Could Change Again as Early as Tomorrow

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Going into a client meeting scheduled for tomorrow, three agencies have been selected to continue as finalists in the competition for Subaru
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of America's advertising account, according to search consultant firm AAR Partners of New York.

Those agencies are: Interpublic Group of Cos.' Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.; Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, New York; and sibling GSD&M, Austin, Texas, according to AAR, the consultant handling the search.

Tomorrow's meeting
Tomorrow's meeting at Subaru may further alter the number of finalists included or excluded from the shortlist, a spokesperson for AAR said.

A spokeswoman for Subaru of America, based in Cherry Hill, N.J., referred calls to the consultancy.

Subaru initiated a review of the creative portion of its advertising account in late June. According to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, Subaru spent $168 million in measured media in 2003

Incumbent is out
The incumbent agency, Interpublic's TM Advertising in Irving, Texas, is not participating in the review.

"We decided weeks ago not to defend this business. We didn't pitch, we didn't make a presentation, we decided to pursue other car business," said Jim Ferguson, chairman and chief creative officer at TM Advertising.

Until now, agencies have presented credentials and met with the marketer for "chemistry" meetings. In the next stage after tomorrow's meeting, finalists will be briefed on the details of a strategic and creative assignment on Aug. 4.

Final agency presentations are set for early September.

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