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Cellular Firm Leaves 4 on Call as Finalists

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After holding chemistry checks with about half-a-dozen West Coast agencies, cellular service provider Western Wireless, Issaquah, Wash., has narrowed its list of finalists to four.
The agencies vying for the $20 million account are: DDB Needham, Los Angeles; Duncan & Associates, Santa Monica, Calif.; Goldberg Moser O'Neill, San Francisco; and EvansGroup, in Seattle, sources said. Select The Los Angeles firm of Resources International is running the search.
Asher/Gould and DavisElen, both in Los Angeles, Elgin DDB in Seattle, and Colby Effler & Partners in Santa Monica, Calif., were eliminated from the final round.
Incumbent Borders, Perrin and Norrander, which is based in Portland, Ore., is not participating in the review. The True North-owned company handled the account for nearly two years.
The shop launched a campaign for VoiceStream Wireless digital PCS last year.
Agency and client executives did not return phone calls or were unavailable for comment.
Western Wireless plans to hire a full-service agency to handle its VoiceStream Wireless and Cellular One (analog cellular) brands. A final decision is expected by mid-September.
The cellular service provider expects to increase its budget next year to support expansion of its service, as well as new cellular properties, sources said.
Western's VoiceStream service is available in Honolulu, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, N.M., El Paso, Texas, Portland, Ore., Des Moines, Iowa, Oklahoma City and Denver. Cellular One is available in more than 70 rural markets through the western U.S.
--with Teresa Buyikian