Smith Barney Picks Finalists

NEW YORK Three New York shops have emerged as finalists for creative and media duties on Smith Barney’s ad account: Young & Rubicam, McCann Erickson and Gardner Nelson & Partners, sources said.

The New York client selected the contenders after visiting about eight shops, said sources. Estimated billings are $35 million.

The incumbent, Interpublic Group’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, is not defending because the review was triggered largely by the shop adding creative duties on the Global Wealth and Investment Management division of Bank of America, a Smith Barney rival.

Smith Barney, a division of Citigroup Global Capital Markets in New York, provides brokerage, investment banking and asset management services to corporations, governments and individuals, according to smithbarney.com.

Client executives have briefed the contenders and final presentations are slated for the last week of May and first week of June, according to sources. The presentations will take place at the respective agencies.

WPP Group owns Y&R, IPG owns McCann and Gardner Nelson is an independent.

McCann was a finalist in a 2006 review that Hill, Holliday won. The shops either declined comment or could not be reached.

New York-based consultancy Source Martin is managing the process. The consultancy did not return calls, and the client could not immediately be reached.