6 Shops to Meet With Casio

NEW YORK Casio will visit six New York shops early next month for chemistry and credentials checks that will lead to a cut to three finalists in its review, according to sources.

The agencies are Interpublic Group’s Avrett Free Ginsberg and sibling Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos; Maxxcom’s Margeotes|Fertitta + Partners; Wolf Group; Gigante Vaz; and ADK America, sources said.

The watch and camera maker narrowed the field last week from about a dozen agencies invited to compete for its $5-10 million account.

Sources said the business will revolve chiefly around Casio’s watch and camera offerings, though the company manufactures a wide variety of products, including calculators, PCs and musical instruments. Competitor Timex launched a $5-8 million, 12-ad print campaign in August in an effort to reposition its line as a Gen-X brand.

Roth Associates in New York is managing the Casio review, and the incumbent, rotter-kantor in New York, has been invited to defend, a client rep said. The Dover, N.J., client hopes to select an agency by the end of the year.

Major media spending on the watch and camera brands was about $3 million in 2002 and roughly $2 million from January to July of this year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.