Mercedes-Benz Retailers of Southern California, Redondo Beach, picked Merkley Newman Harty, New York, to handle the dealer group's $18 million account. Ground Zero, Santa Monica, was the other finalist, said one person familiar with the search, but dealers favored Merkley because it handles Mercedes-Benz USA, Montvale, N.J. WongDoody
, Santa Monica, and Townsend & O'Leary, Irvine, also were on the short list. Yellow Card (formerly Doig Elliot Schurr), New York, was the previous agency.
Copyright September 1999, Crain Communications Inc.