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Mazda Review Nears Final Lap

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Four contenders await word from Mazda in its creative review following two days of agency presentations to client executives this week, sources said.

Some sources expect another round of meetings, possibly after a cut, while others anticipate a decision, perhaps within the next two weeks.

This week's pitches took place Tuesday and Wednesday at Mazda's North American headquarters in Irvine, Calif. Sources identified the participants Omnicom Group's DDB (pitching with sister shop Organic); MDC Partners' Crispin Porter + Bogusky; a team of executives from several WPP units using the moniker of Team Mazda; and the incumbent, independent Doner in Southfield, Mich.

Sources described the pitches as strategic. The focus was said to be on the carmaker's Mazda6 sports sedan.

Mazda, a Japanese brand that is 11 percent owned by Ford, confirmed the review in March.

Doner has handled U.S. duties on the nameplate since 1997.

Media buying chores are not in play and remain at WPP's Mindshare.

Major media spending on Mazda totaled $155 million last year, according to Nielsen. That figure does not include online spending.

Pile + Co. in Boston is managing the review. Pile president Judy Neer declined comment late Friday.