Says New List With More Agencies Due Next Week

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NEW YORK (Ad -- Withdrawing the shortlist of advertising review competitors that it announced yesterday, Subaru of America said today that a new list was being prepared for release July 28.

Mike Whelan, national manager of corporate communications, said, "We are asking all 10 [semi-finalist] agencies to sit tight."

Thursday list
In Thursday's shortlist only three agencies -- Interpublic Group of Cos.' Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.; Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, New York; and sibling GSD&M, Austin, Texas -- were named by AAR Partners, New York, the consultancy handling the review for Subaru, as finalists.

Shortly after those names were announced, AAR said the auto marketer was calling the list "not complete" and that a final list would be announced today. But Mr. Whelan said Subaru's decision makers "need to do additional research" to compile a new list of finalists, although he wouldn't say the sort of work that would be done.

More agencies added
In addition to the three agencies previously named as finalists, seven others were selected as semifinalists. These were: WPP Group's Berlin Cameron/Red Cell, New York; MDC Partners' Colle & McVoy, Minneapolis, and Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York; independent Cramer Krasselt, Chicago; and Interpublic's Foote Cone & Belding, Hill Holliday Connors Cosmopulos and McCann Erickson, all New York.

Incumbent agency TM Advertising, Irving, Texas, is not involved in the review, said AAR.

Aug. 4 briefing
Agencies selected for the next phase of the competition will attend a briefing at the company's U.S. headquarters in Cherry Hill, N.J., Aug. 4 and a question-and-answer session the following week, on Aug. 12. Final agency presentations are set for early September.

Subaru initiated the review of the creative portion of its advertising account in late June. According to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, Subaru spent $168 million in measured media in 2003.

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