Walnut Co-op Calls on S.F. Semifinalists

SAN FRANCISCO Six agencies have emerged as semifinalists in the review for Diamond of California’s $5 million creative and media advertising account, the client confirmed.

The Stockton, Calif.-based client will pay visits to the following agencies next week: Interpublic Group’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, WPP Group’s J. Walter Thompson, Havas’ Black Rocket Euro RSCG, Omnicom’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and TBWA\Chiat\Day and independent shop Venables, Bell & Partners, all in San Francisco. Sources said the client would check credentials and chemistry before cutting to three.

Incumbent Gardner, Geary, Coll of San Francisco, decided not to defend. Final pitches are slated for mid- to late-July. New York consultancy Roth Associates is managing the process. Roth did not return calls for comment.

Diamond, which represents a cooperative of 1,900 walnut growers in California, spent less than $1 million on advertising last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.