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Seven Agencies Vie for Creative and Media Account

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NEW YORK ( -- Home improvement chain Lowe's Cos. has narrowed its list of contenders vying for its $300 million creative and media planning and buying account, according to an executive familiar with the matter.
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Six agencies in addition to the account's incumbent, Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson, New York, which handles creative, and media agency Universal McCann, will advance to the next round.

List of contenders
The other agencies in the review include three Omnicom Group creative shops -- BBDO Worldwide, New York; TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York; and Element 79, Chicago -- partnered with media sibling OMD, and Interpublic's Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., which has teamed with Aegis Group's Carat. Two other agencies, Interpublic's Deutsch, New York, and independent Doner, Southfield, Mich., have in-house media buying and planning operations.

Agencies did not return calls for comment.

Next stage
The next stage of the review, according to the executive, is for the seven agencies to meet with the client during the week of June 13. Following that, the marketer will whittle the list down to three, plus the incumbents, McCann and Universal McCann. Those finalists will be given a pitch assignment, with a winner chosen by the end of July.

The executive added that depending upon which agencies progress into the final stage, other media agencies may be called into the process.

Other agency moves
Hasan & Co., Raleigh, NC, is conducting the review on behalf of the Mooresville, N.C.-based retailer. The creative and media buying review, which began in early May, follows the company's recent change of its public relations agencies (from Interpublic's Golin Harris to WPP Group's GCI) and a change in its direct-marketing efforts, which recently moved in-house from Omnicom's Rapp Collins Worldwide.

Lowe's spent $314 million in measured media last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence.