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Dial Soap Taps 4 Finalists

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Dial soap is meeting with at least four agencies later this month, including incumbent DDB Worldwide in New York, as it reviews its estimated $20 million creative account, sources said.

The credentials meetings are expected to take place at the client's Scottsdale, Ariz., headquarters.

Spearheading the review is Larry Flink of The New Business Perspective, a Mamaroneck, N.Y.-based consultancy, sources said. Flink declined to comment on the review.

Finalists were reportedly pared down from a list of nine or 10 semi-finalists, which responded to a brief questionnaire and provided work samples. DDB has worked with Dial for 21 years. The account was first handled by DDB Chicago and moved to DDB New York in 1996.

The review comes just weeks after sources said the client began asking agencies, including the incumbent, to submit project work to reinvigorate the brand.

DDB handles media planning duties; Active International, located in New York, does the buying.

DDB's most recent work included two black-and-white TV spots for the Dial soap brand that ran in March. They carry the recently resurrected tagline, "Aren't you glad you use Dial?"

The first ad showed a little girl taking a bath. The second showed a little boy in a shower playing with some toys. The spots had first run under a 2-year-old tagline, "Doesn't that feel better?" until it was changed earlier this year.

No Dial ads have appeared since March.

DDB New York is breaking TV work this week for Dial Complete, an antibacterial hand soap. The agency also handles Dial's Tone and Coast soap brands. It's unclear whether those brands are affected.

DDB officials declined comment, and Dial executives could not be reached.