NEXTEL NARROWS REVIEW CONTENDERS TO TWO

Arnold Worldwide and TBWA/Chiat/Day Vie for Ad Account

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Nextel Communications has narrowed its search for an agency to handle its advertising account to two contenders from four, Audrey Schaefer, a spokeswoman for the telecommunications company, said.

Havas' Arnold Worldwide, Boston, and Omnicom's TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York, continue to compete for the business.

Incumbent cut
Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett Worldwide, Chicago, and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Mullen, Wenham, Mass., have been eliminated. Mullen had handled the account for brand and local retail advertising for the past six years.

In 2002, Nextel spent $165 million on measured media, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.

Separate media buying account
Contenders for Nextel's media buying, which is also in review, have not been narrowed.

Asked when a winner would be chosen for the creative account, Ms. Schaefer declined to comment.

Roth Associates, New York, is handling the review.