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Bob's to Name Broadcast Shop

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Clothing retailer Bob's Stores late last week met with four finalists in a review for its broadcast advertising assignment, sources said. The work, estimated at $5 million annually, will likely include TV and radio executions.

Finalists include Boston shops Clarke Goward, Connelly Partners, Velocity Advertising—the new agency created by Lisa Hickey who was formerly creative director of Boston's Heater Advertising (now Red)—and one unidentified contender.

Bob's Stores could not be reached for comment. The review is being led by Dave Murphy, a consultant based in Scituate, Mass., who did not return calls.

A separate search for a media buying agency is believed to be ongoing.

Bob's Stores had worked with KGA Advertising, Middletown, Conn., for 21 years, and was the shop's largest and most recognizable client.

The agency in November was forced to lay off 6-8 staffers when Bob's Stores announced plans to seek separate broadcast, print and media-buying agencies.

The client decided to split with KGA because "it was time for a change," Bob's Stores vice president of marketing Bill Gaunt said at the time.

KGA had developed TV, radio and print ads for Bob's, most recently featuring a Zamboni driver and the tagline, "Get real." The campaign attempted to portray the message that Bob's sells clothes for "real people," rather than carrying trendy styles. Those ads were on-air throughout the holiday season.

The Meriden, Conn.-based chain several months ago retained Nova Marketing, Quincy, Mass., for print ads, flyers and in-store signage.

Bob's Stores, a unit of Citicorp. Venture Capital, operates more than 30 stores in the Northeast.