4 Reach Bridgestone Finals

BOSTON Bridgestone Firestone has invited four agencies to make final presentations in the review of its broadcast creative and media assignment. Estimated billings are $25 million.

Advancing are independent The Richards Group in Dallas, WPP Group’s Grey in New York, Interpublic Group’s Foote Cone & Belding in Chicago and Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett, also in Chicago, according to Pile and Co., the consulting company overseeing the process.

Presentations are slated for mid-July, with a decision expected shortly thereafter.

Out of contention are Havas’ Arnold in Boston; independent Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago; and Publicis’ The Kaplan Thaler Group in New York.

Grey has held the account since 1998; its WPP sibling MediaCom handles buying chores.

Gish Sherwood, which is located near the Nashville, Tenn.-based client, is responsible for print duties, which are not included in the review.

This is the third tire account to go into play in the past six months. Goodyear, which had been with Arnold, awarded its $40 million business in January to IPG’s McCann Erickson in New York. In April, B.F. Goodrich tapped IPG’s The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., to handle its $15-20 million account.

According to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, Bridgestone Firestone spent a total of $45 million in all U.S. measured media in 2005, up from $40 million in 2004.