Citgo Petroleum in Tulsa, Okla., has received 23 submissions from undisclosed agencies for its estimated $10 million-plus national account, according to the company.
Julie Anderson, Citgo media director, said finalists will be selected over the next three weeks from the group of agencies that returned the request for proposal by last Thursday's deadline.
Citgo is believed to be looking primarily in the Southwest and Midwest, although the company said the search is national in scope.
There are still no dates set for presentations or a decision on the new agency. The leading task awaiting the winner will be to front Citgo's first consumer-targeted advertising.
Citgo launched its review earlier this month, sending out questionnaires to select agencies for the first phase of the process. Company advertising manager Donald Rucks is leading the review.
Citgo has more than 15,000 locations in 47 states through independent marketers, including Dallas-based Southland Corp.'s 7-Eleven convenience stores.
Until now, the company has marketed primarily through direct channels and its network of distributors, according to Anderson.
Currently, the client assigns national media to Media First International in New York, and handles creative work in-house. Citgo also parcels out creative assignments on a project basis.
The account was previously held by BBDO Worldwide in Chicago. BBDO gained the business when it acquired Citgo's agency, Wells Rich Greene BDDP in Chicago, in 1996.
According to BBDO sources, the agency produced a few television spots before mutually parting ways with Citgo. BBDO is not participating in the review, sources said.
--with Trevor Jensen