Southwest Airlines isn't lacking in choice for agencies. At least eight shops have advanced to the visitation round of the airline's creative review.
Airline marketing executives chose the shops based on their replies to an initial request for proposals.
Each agency will visit Southwest at its Dallas headquarters over the next two weeks, and based on those meetings, the airline will select three or four finalists to compete for the assignment. Sources estimate revenue on the account at $4-5 million.
Beyond incumbent GSD&M, the participating agencies include Deutsch LA in Marina del Rey, Calif.; BBDO in New York; DDB in Chicago; The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va.; TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif.; Arnold in Boston; and Leo Burnett in Chicago, according to sources.
The airline spends about $200 million annually on media.
Regardless of the outcome, GSD&M will remain on the roster. Southwest plans to complete its search by the end of May. Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif., is managing the process.