SEVEN SHOPS CHASE KIA ACCOUNT

Six Semifinalists Join Incumbent David & Goliath in Review

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Kia Motors America today named six semifinalists in the review for the creative portion of its $240 million account.

The semifinalists are: Interpublic Group

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of Cos.' Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis; independent Cramer-Krasselt, Chicago; Omnicom Group's GSD&M, Austin, Texas; MDC Partners' Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York; and Publicis Groupe's Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco, and Kaplan Thaler Group, New York.

Kia previously said the account's incumbent, Los Angeles-based independent David & Goliath, would be a finalist.

"It's business as usual here," said David Angelo, David & Goliath's chief creative officer. He told AdAge.com that the agency had started early work on Kia's redesigned Sportage sport utility vehicle, which arrives in 2005.

Achenbaum Bodga Associates, of Raleigh, N.C., is conducting the search. The consultant told AdAge.com that credentials meetings with the agencies will be held in the next two weeks before the list is further narrowed. Presentations by finalists could come next month. A Kia spokesman said he expects the review to be completed in early fall. The automaker is based in Irvine, Calif.

Achenbaum Bodga replaced AAR Partners, New York, which is handling another creative review, that of Subaru of America. GSD&M had been a finalist in Subaru's ongoing creative review, but dropped out July 29 after the automaker announced a revised and expanded list. GSD&M had been one five finalists named by AAR Partners.