SUBARU NAMES FIVE FINALISTS IN CREATIVE REVIEW

Latest List of Contenders Comes Week After Aborted Shortlist

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- In an agency search that has seen a number of false starts, Subaru of America today released a list of five finalists for the creative portion of its advertising account, less than a week after its consultant withdrew an earlier shortlist of three finalists.

The three finalists named last week by

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the consultant, AAR Partners of New York, are still on the list. They are Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, New York and GSD&M, Austin, Texas; and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Martin Agency, Richmond, VA.

Added to review
Added to the review are WPP Group's Berlin Cameron/Red Cell, New York, and Interpublic's McCann Erickson, New York.

Interpublic's TM Advertising, Irving, Texas, the incumbent, said last week it wasn't participating in the review. Subaru had said TM would defend the account when the review started in May.

AAR released a list of three finalists July 22, but by the next day said the marketer called the list "not complete." A Subaru spokesman said the automaker's brass needed "to do more research" before compiling a list of finalists.

Upmarket strategy
The auto brand, best known for its all-wheel-drive wagons, wants to move upmarket and expand its buyer base. Subaru spent $168 million in measured media last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

The media account, held by Interpublic's Universal McCann, New York, isn't in review.

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