2 Stay Alive for Verizon

NEW YORK Verizon Wireless has eliminated WPP Group’s J. Walter Thompson from the review for the creative portion of its estimated $300 million ad account, sources said.

Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson, in New York and Havas’ Arnold in Boston remain alive in the competition. Over the next two weeks, McCann and Arnold will have additional conversations with the client regarding creative and compensation issues, sources said.

JWT was cut on Tuesday, just one day after creative presentations were completed at the client’s Bedminster, N.J., headquarters. McCann pitched on Friday, JWT in New York went on Monday morning, followed by Arnold on Monday afternoon, sources said.

Executives at the agencies either could not be reached or referred calls to the client.

A rep for Verizon Wireless would say only that a winner had not been selected but she would not comment further.

Verizon Wireless put its creative account into review in February and did not invite the incumbent, IPG’s Lowe in New York, to defend.

McCann Erickson has been the temporary steward of the account during the review process, which is being handled by Boston consultancy Pile and Co.

Media duties, handled by Publicis’ Zenith Media in New York, are not in play.