The list of shops still in the running for the estimated $12 million Bermuda Department of Tourism advertising account has shrunk to at least seven agencies.
Sources said last week that those agencies having made final presentations for the advertising account included Eisner & Associates in Baltimore, Arnold Communications in Boston, as well as J. Walter Thompson, Hill, Holliday/Altschiller and Grey Advertising, all of New York.
Two other undisclosed shops, which specialize in public relations, may have made the final round as well. Sources thought the presence of public relations agencies in the mix has led to speculation that marketing chores for the Bermuda tourism account may be split.
Acting assistant director of marketing for the client, Cherie Whitter, did not return telephone calls as we went to press last week.
The tourism account had been at DDB Needham Worldwide in New York, which decided not to participate in the review.
Sources said finalists made presentations last week. A decision is expected this week.
The review is lagging several weeks behind the client's stated schedule, which it conceded in the request for proposal was tight. At the time the account was placed in play, final presentations were scheduled for the week of Jan. 25. Sources close to the review said they were told it took Bermuda tourism officials longer than expected to sort through first-round responses.
The winner will have to scramble. Because its tourism season begins in April, Bermuda wants a television campaign on air in March.