Contenders Emerge in HIP Review

NEW YORK HIP Health Plan of New York has narrowed the field to seven shops in its search for an agency to handle its ad account, now split between independents Park South (creative) and RJ Palmer (media), both in New York, said sources. Billings are estimated at $10 million.

Client executives will visit the contenders in two weeks, and, based on those visits, cut to three finalists, according to sources.

Sources identified the shops as MDC Partners’ Margeotes|Fertitta + Partners, Interpublic Group’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, and independents ML Rogers, Korey Kay & Partners, Pedone & Partners and Gardener Nelson & Partners, all in New York, as well as the incumbent team of Park South and RJ Palmer.

Creative chores include traditional and Web ads as well as direct marketing [Adweek Online, May 27].

New York consultancy Roth Associates is managing the review. Roth did not return calls, and the agencies either declined comment or could not be reached.

This item has been changed to reflect the participation of the incumbents.