Voice and data management company Dictaphone Corp. has contacted six shops about creative and media duties on its estimated $4 million account, sources said.
Sources identified four of the agencies as Mintz & Hoke in Avon, Conn.; Arnold Communications in Boston; and Weiss, Whitten, Stagliano and incumbent The Colligan Group, both in New York.
An Arnold representative said the shop would not pursue the account. The other agencies declined comment.
Dictaphone began with a list of 30 shops and will make a cut to three finalists before making a decision in March, sources said.
"We've been talking to a variety of agencies," said Bob Qamar, manager of marketing communications for Dictaphone in Stratford, Conn.
Qamar said talks were exploratory and suggested that they may not ultimately lead to the hiring of a new agency. "We have been informally talking to a number of agencies, really just to get an idea of what's out there," he said. "A decision hasn't been made as to the ultimate outcome."
A resource assessment was triggered by a corporate restructuring that began in 1995, when Dictaphone was acquired by Stonington Partners, a private investment firm in New York, Qamar said.
Dictaphone markets systems for dictation, voice processing, voice response, unified messaging, records management, call center monitoring and communications recording. In addition to Stratford and Melbourne, Fla., the company has offices in England, Germany and Switzerland.