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Cut to 5 in Pork Board Search

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CHICAGO The National Pork Board has narrowed the list of contenders for its $10 million advertising account to five, according to the executive running the review.

Vying for the business are the incumbent, Interpublic Group's Campbell Mithun in Chicago; IPG sister shop Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis; and independents Periscope in Minneapolis, Barkley Evergreen & Partners in Kansas City, Mo., and The Richards Group in Dallas, said Jeff Hartz, director of marketing communications at the Des Moines, Iowa, client. The board had initially sent requests for information to about 15 Midwestern agencies.

More detailed requests for proposals will be sent to the contenders sometime within the next two weeks, said Hartz. Council members will visit each shop before giving a creative assignment, he said. Presentations will be scheduled for the first week of August, with a decision expected shortly thereafter.

CM (formerly Bozell Chicago) developed the board's well-known tagline, "The other white meat."

The future of the account has been in question. But the U.S. Supreme Court's decision last month to consider whether mandatory checkoffs like the one that funds the board are unconstitutional has kept the board intact until a ruling is made. A decision in the case, which specifically concerns the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, is expected in the first half of next year.