LOS ANGELES Chiquita Banana is actively seeking an agency to handle its Hispanic advertising, sources at search consultant AAR Partners confirmed late last week.
The search is national, but is said to include regional shops in Los Angeles, Irvine and Costa Mesa, Calif.
Chiquita Banana is in the second round of its review process, sources said. By the end of June, Chiquita expects to have narrowed the contender list to three or four finalists. The account-winning agency is most likely to be named by late July.
According to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, Chiquita Banana's total sales were $2.6 billion in 2003, although the company spent nothing that year on Hispanic marketing. In 2002, spending for a Hispanic network TV campaign amounted to $1.4 million.
The 2004 ad spend will be "minimal," sources said, and a television component is not probable.
Chiquita is a publicly owned company based in Cincinnati.