NEW YORK Mike's Hard Lemonade has selected four finalists to pitch its estimated $20 million account, sources said.
Sources identified the shops as independents Amalgamated and Droga5, both in New York; WPP Group's Cole + Weber United in Seattle; and Interpublic Group's Mullen in Wenham, Mass.
The finalists emerged after client executives visited seven agencies last week.
Not advancing were IPG's Deutsch in New York and independents Modernista! in Boston and 72 and Sunny in El Segundo, Calif., said sources.
Both creative and media duties are in play. The incumbents are independent We Are Gigantic here, which handles creative duties, and MDC Partners' The Media Kitchen here, which plans and buys media.
Mullen and Cole + Weber have their own media departments; Amalgamated and Droga5 are expected to partner with media shops. In the end, the Seattle-based client could also keep media duties at The Media Kitchen, said sources.
Client executives are expected to brief the contenders later this week, and final presentations are slated for the first week of December.
Ark Advisors in New York is managing the process. Ark did not return calls, and the client could not immediately be reached.
In confirming the review last month, client vp, marketing Kevin McLaughlin said, "This search is a reflection of our desire to seek out the best resources to partner with us for the long term."
A recent client spot by We Are Gigantic is shown above.