COKE'S CHINA MEDIA REVIEW NARROWS TO STARCOM, CARAT

Incumbent on $30 Million Account Is Zenith Optimedia

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SHANGHAI (AdAge.com) -- Coca-Cola Co. has narrowed the pitch for its media business in mainland China to two agencies, Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest Group and Aegis Group's Carat, according to executives familiar with the situation.

Billings on the account were not disclosed,

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COKE TO HEAR PITCHES FOR MEDIA IN CHINA
Four Agencies Vie for $30 Million Account
but Coke spends at least $30 million in Chinese media. Brenda Lee, a Coca-Cola spokeswoman in Shanghai, would not confirm the final shortlist.

Down from four
Four agencies originally took part in the pitch, which began last month -- Starcom, Carat, Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann and the incumbent, Publicis' Zenith Optimedia.

Coca-Cola's creative business, which is split in China between Interpublic's McCann-Erickson Worldwide (Coke) and WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather (Sprite and Fanta), is not being reviewed.

Zenith's loss of Coke's media business in China would be the agency's second major blow this fall. Last month, it lost Procter & Gamble Co.'s media negotiation business in China to Starcom, although Zenith continues to handle about 60% of P&G's media planning in China.

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