Austin, Nichols & Co. has reduced contenders in the review for Yoo-Hoo chocolate drink's ad account to three New York agencies, sources said.
The shops are: Weiss, Whitten, Stagliano; Mad Dogs & Englishmen; and Margeotes/Fertitta + Partners, according to sources.
Austin, Nichols in New York also approached Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners here, but, sources said, the agency wanted to stay open in the beverage category. (Kirshenbaum used to handle the Snapple account, which is now with Deutsch in New York.)
Meetings between the client and agencies began two weeks ago and will continue this week. Sources expect a decision will be made this month. The prevailing agency will handle creative and media duties on the $5-6 million account.
Executives at the agencies and the client either did not return calls or declined comment.
Compton Partners here created advertising for Yoo-Hoo from 1992 until last year. Compton, a division of Saatchi & Saatchi, resigned the business to pursue other beverage accounts, a representative said. Compton's TV commercials featured the tagline, "There's nothin' like it."
Yoo-Hoo is the top-selling drink in its category, according to Beverage Marketing Corp. in New York. The category--non-perishable chocolate drinks--is so small, however, that the brand has few peers.
Austin, Nichols' parent, Groupe Pernod-Ricard, Paris, markets other beverages, including Wild Turkey whisky. Competitive Media Reporting put Groupe Pernod-Ricard's spending on Yoo-Hoo at $3 million between January and October 1997.