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The Australian Tourist Commission has narrowed the list of contenders for its consolidated $80 million-plus worldwide advertising account to four agencies.

Present roster agencies McCann-Erickson Worldwide, J. Walter Thompson Co. and D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles have been joined by Young & Rubicam.

A fifth agency was expected to be named this week, however the commission last week decided against including the other three contenders: DDB Needham Worldwide, BBDO Worldwide and Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Worldwide through its Team One unit in El Segundo, Calif.

Currently, DMB&B handles the account in the U.S. and Europe while JWT handles most of Asia and McCann has the business in Japan.

A tourist commission spokeswoman said a number of agencies were eliminated due to overseas conflicts, lack of a corporate presence in Sydney or because they didn't have worldwide offices.


Omnicom Group's Ketchum Advertising office in Los Angeles was eliminated earlier because the agency lacked an international presence. Mojo Australia, which once held the business, was excluded due to conflicts through its current owner, True North Communications.

The four agencies will pitch the account in the first week of June, with a decision expected by mid-month.

Alice Z. Cuneo contributed to this story.

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