Kia Names Semifinalists

BOSTON Kia Motors America today named six semifinalists in the review for the creative portion of its ad account. The client spends $270 million annually on ads.

The semifinalists are: Interpublic Group’s Campbell Mithun in Minneapolis; independent Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago; Omnicom Group’s GSD&M in Austin, Texas; MDC Partners’ Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners in New York; and Publicis Groupe shop Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco; and The Kaplan Thaler Group in New York, also owned by Publicis, the client said.

Incumbent davidandgoliath in Los Angeles, an independent agency, has an automatic pass into the final round, Kia said.

Kia maketing officials over the next several weeks will visit the six semifinalists for talks, with finalists emerging in mid- to late-September, a Kia representative said.

Consulting firm Achenbaum Bogda Associates is overseeing the review process from its offices in Raleigh, N.C., and Dallas. The client is based in Irvine, Calif.

GSD&M last week withdrew from a separate review for Subaru of America’s $165 million ad account [Adweek Online, July 29].

The two car reviews were entwined, with New York consultancy AAR Partners initially handling both before being dismissed from the Kia competition because of an apparent conflict of interest. AAR continues to work with Subaru.

—with Randi Schmelzer