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Finalists Named in Sun Interactive Review

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NEW YORK -- Three finalists have emerged in the review for Sun Microsystems interactive account, sources said. The San Francisco-based contenders include Carat Interactive, SF Interactive and the team of Grey Global Group shops Beyond Interactive and Grey Interactive, according to sources.

Incumbent JWT & Tonic and the team of Bcom3 siblings Starcom IP and Semaphore Partners (formerly Novo/Giant Step) did not advance. JWT & Tonic also handles Sun's traditional advertising account, which is unaffected.

The review is being steered by Scott Anderson, director of e-marketing and Web publications at Sun, who did not return calls. A client representative declined comment.

The Palo Alto, Calif., tech giant is looking for a shop with expertise in database management, customer relationship management and online branding. Interactive responsibilities will encompass search-word placement, e-newsletter sponsorships, banner advertising and online product campaigns.

The budget for the interactive account is undisclosed; according to CMR, Sun Microsystems spent nearly $40 million in U.S. measured media last year.

In April, Sun awarded its $100 million global media buying and planning account to Starcom in Chicago following a review.