BMW NAMES NINE FINALISTS IN AD ACCOUNT REVIEW

Includes $30 Million Worth of Work in Western Region

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- BMW of North America has named nine shops as finalists for the creative portion of its estimated $30 million Western regional ad account, according to executives close to the situation.

The finalists are: Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, Sausalito; Secret Weapon Marketing,

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Assignment Covers Western U.S.
Santa Monica; Concept Farm and WongDoody, both Los Angeles; VitroRobertson, San Diego; Heil-Brice Advertising, Newport Beach; Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide, Los Angeles; and Publicis Groupe's Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco.

Incumbent is in
Incumbent Mendelsohn/Zien, Los Angeles, which has handled the account for 11 years, will continue in the pitch along with the other eight finalists, said Russel Wohlwerth, a principal at search consultant Select Resources International, West Hollywood, Calif. (Mendelsohn is minority owned by Hakuhodo.)

A decision is expected in December.

Jack Kelly, sales and marketing manager of BMW's Western region, did not return calls seeking comment.

When it announced the review last month, BMW said its regional program is intended to draw prospective customers to take a test drive. Publicis' Fallon, Minneapolis, handles national advertising.

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