WSJ Names Finalists, Not Hill

The Wall Street Journal has selected three finalists for its consolidated circulation and trade advertising accounts–and incumbent Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos is not one of them.
Incumbent J. Walter Thompson in New York, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco and TBWA/Chiat/Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., will receive an assignment for final presentations, a client representative said last week. Those presentations, which may or may not include creative development, are scheduled for mid-November.
JWT currently handles the client’s trade efforts, which are significantly smaller than the circulation advertising handled by Hill, Holliday.
WSJ, published by Dow Jones & Co. in New York, spent almost $20 million on advertising last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Client representatives, however, estimated the current total ad budget at around $10 million.
The client declined comment on why Hill, Holliday was not invited to participate in the review, and executives at the Boston agency could not be reached by press time.
The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition has also begun contacting shops regarding its ad account, according to sources.
The online edition, which operates as a distinct business unit from the newspaper, is looking for an agency to provide both online and offline advertising, sources said.
A client representative declined to comment on billings for the interactive account or disclose the identity of the incumbent agency.
The online edition is one of the few Web sites that has successfully charged an access fee to users. Dow Jones launched the online edition in April 1996 as a paid publication. Subscribers are charged $49 a year. The online edition now boasts nearly 200,000 subscribers.
–with Justin Dini