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Nationwide Mulls 4

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NEW YORK Four finalists are competing for creative duties on Nationwide Insurance's ad account, according to the consultant managing the process.

The contenders are MDC Partners' Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners in New York; Interpublic Group's Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis; independent McKinney in Durham, N.C.; and the incumbent, IPG's TM Advertising in Dallas, confirmed Mike Bogda of ABA Consulting in Addison, Texas. TM has handled creative chores since 1998.

Those shops have been briefed and final presentations will take place next week at the agencies' offices.

The finalists emerged from a field of about a half-dozen shops that also included IPG's Deutsch in New York and Omnicom Group's GSD&M Idea City in Austin, Texas, said sources.

Nationwide, which last year spent more than $210 million in major measured media, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, launched the review in December.

The contest does not include direct marketing duties, which remain at WPP Group's Wunderman in New York.

Columbus, Ohio-based Nationwide also is conducting a separate, parallel review of media duties. The status of that contest was not immediately available. IPG's Universal McCann in New York is the incumbent.