Hyundai’s Top 10 List

The Richards Group faces a host of West Coast contenders in the review for the creative portion of Hyundai Motor America’s $160 million account.

Select Resources International, the consultancy conducting the Hyun-dai review, last week confirmed that Richards is on a list of 10 semifinalists for the business.

In addition to Dallas-based Richards, agencies advancing in the review are the incumbent, Bates USA West in Irvine, Calif.; Grey in Los Angeles; Foote, Cone & Belding in Irvine and San Francisco; Hill, Holliday and Publicis & Hal Riney, both in San Francisco; Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore.; Campbell Mithun in Minneapolis; Publicis in the West in Seattle; and one undisclosed contender.

The undisclosed agency may be one that already holds a national automotive brand, sources said.

Approximately 25 shops initially responded to the request for proposal, said Catherine Bension, president of the West Hollywood, Calif., consultancy.

The Fountain Valley, Calif.-based client is expected to meet with the semifinalists next week for a chemistry check.

The car maker will then cut to three or four finalists, which will be asked to complete a strategic and creative work assignment.

Finalists will make presentations in early April. A decision is expected by the end of April.

Hyundai’s national media account was moved from Bates to Carat, New York, late last month. The shift was part of a $400 million media consolidation between Hyundai and Kia Motors America.