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Three Shops Advance in LendingTree's Search

Decision expected next month
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Three agencies remain in the running in LendingTree.com's search for a new agency to reposition the brand

Leo Burnett, Young & Rubicam, and 22squared emerged from a group of eight shops that presented ideas to LendingTree executives, according to Mona Marimow, LendingTree's svp of marketing. Marimow declined to identify the others.

The online lender has asked the three finalists to explain how their ideas can work across multiple marketing channels. LendingTree is also testing their concepts. Media spending on the assignment is projected at $45 million. The company expects to complete the process next month.

The winner will supplant Mullen as the brand's lead creative agency. Mullen will remain on the roster, however, given that it also plans and buys media for LendingTree. The Interpublic Group shop may take on creative projects as well.

Mullen’s last brand campaign featured images of regular people in superhero costumes and the voice of Adam West, star of the 1960s TV series Batman. The work, which broke in 2009, positioned LendingTree as a consumer-friendly "financial dashboard for your life," offering everything from loans to credit cards and money management advice. "You to the rescue" was the tagline.