THREE AGENCIES LEFT IN $19 MILLION JIM BEAM REVIEW

Marketer to Test Concepts From the Finalists

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- After meeting with the five agencies chasing its $19 million Jim Beam Brands portfolio, Fortune Brands will test ad concepts from three of the shops advancing in the review, according to executives close to the marketer.

The marketer's current agency, WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, Chicago, said it has been cut from the review.

Fallon also cut
The three agencies continuing in

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the process are Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide and Element 79 Partners, both Chicago; and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis. The other finalist that was eliminated was Publicis Groupe's Fallon Worldwide, Minneapolis.

AAR, New York, is the consultant handling the review. The other agencies referred calls to AAR, which declined to comment. Jim Beam executives didn't return a call.

August decision likely
A decision could come next month. The Jim Beam portfolio includes the Jim Beam and Knob Creek bourbons, DeKuyper cordials and Vox vodka.

Fortune Brands is still searching for a chief marketing officer after the surprise April departure of Thomas K. Hernquist, who joined Hershey Foods Corp. as the chief marketing officer for its confectionery division. Three candidates are being considered, according to one executive with knowledge of the search.