The finalists are Havas' Arnold Worldwide, Boston; Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York; Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett USA, Chicago; and incumbent Interpublic Group of Cos.' Mullen, Wenham, Mass., and Winston-Salem, N.C.
The shops head to Virginia
Those not making the cut were Interpublic's Deutsch, New York; and WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, New York.
Nextel and its search consultant, Roth Associates, New York, declined to comment on finalists. A decision is expected by the middle of 2003.
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Claire Atkinson, Tobi Elkin, Kate MacArthur and Lisa Sanders contributed to this report.