Continental Trims Finalists

Continental General Tires of Charlotte, N.C., delayed making a final decision in the review for its $8.5-10 million account last week, instead cutting its list of seven finalists to two.
“[Continental] told me they have narrowed it down to Doe-Anderson [Louisville, Ky.] and [The] Zimmerman [Agency, Tallahassee, Fla.],” said Mary Ellen Sloan, chief executive officer of Meridian Communications, a Lexington, Ky., shop that did not make the cut.
The identities of the finalists were confirmed by executives at several other agencies that did not qualify.
Continental advertising services manager Al Johnson acknowledged that the remaining agencies would deliver abbreviated presentations in Charlotte this week, with a final decision due the week of March 29. Johnson would not confirm the remaining number of finalists.
Representatives for both Doe-Anderson and Zimmerman referred all questions to the client.
Besides Meridian, the other original contenders were: Strong Automotive Merchandising, Birmingham, Ala.; Barkley & Evergreen, Kansas City, Mo.; and Price/McNabb and Wray Ward Laseter, both Charlotte. Toronto incumbent Wolf Group chose not to defend.
Johnson, who said the tire manufacturer and retailer could split the account between two shops, alluded that some work may go an agency that did not make the finals. Both Price/McNabb and Wray Ward Laseter currently handle local projects for Continental.
According to Competitive Media Reporting, Continental General Tires has spent less than $250,000 on advertising in the past two years.