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WELLPOINT NAMES FOUR FINALISTS FOR $70 MILLION ACCOUNT

Insurance Giant to Make Selection in Early July

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- WellPoint, the nation's largest health insurer, has named four finalists for its anticipated $70 million account.
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Contenders
The four contenders are: WPP Group's Y&R Cos. and Grey Worldwide, both in San Francisco, and Ogilvy & Mather, Culver City, Calif.; and Publicis Groupe's Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco.

Eliminated from the final round were independent RPA, Santa Monica, Calif., an incumbent on part of the business; Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, Los Angeles; and Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Worldgroup, San Francisco.

Select Resources International
A decision in the review is expected in early July, said Catherine Bension, president of Select Resources International, Santa Monica, Calif., which is conducting the search.

The new national account was created as a result of the $16.5 billion merger last November of WellPoint Health Networks and Anthem. The company holds licenses for Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and covers 28 million subscribers. Its coverage extends through California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.

WellPoint spent $13 million in measured media in 2004 while Anthem spent $4.4 million, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

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