Burlington Picks Finalists in $60 Mil. Pitch

NEW YORK Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse has selected four New York teams as finalists in its creative and media review, said Ark Advisors, the consultancy managing the search.

In addition, the media incumbent, Interpublic Group’s Initiative here, is pitching media duties alone.

Ark principal Ken Robinson identified the creative and media teams as Publicis Groupe’s The Kaplan Thaler Group, which is pitching with sister media shop MediaVest in New York; independent ML Rogers, pitching with independent Horizon here; independent Cramer-Krasselt, with the media department from its Chicago office; and independent Gardner Nelson + Partners, with independent TargetCast here.

Not advancing were MDC Partners’ Cliff Freeman and Partners in New York and Havas’ Euro RSCG in Chicago.

The finalists emerged after client executives visited six shops this week.

The agencies will be briefed next week at the client’s headquarters in Burlington, N.J., and final presentations are scheduled for late April, said Ark’s Robinson.

Burlington’s major media spending totaled $60 million last year and nearly $75 million in 2006, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. (The 2007 figure does not include online spending.)

For several years, Sheer Advertising in South Orange, N.J., handled creative duties for the client, but that shop closed in late 2007, resulting in those chores moving in-house.

Besides coats, Burlington sells apparel, shoes and accessories at some 395 stores in 44 states. Bain Capital acquired the retailer in 2006, taking the company private in a deal valued at $2.1 billion.