Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America has narrowed the list of contenders for its $65-80 million national dealer advertising business to four agencies, according to Mike Agate of Select Resources International, the consultancy conducting the review.
The four semifinalists are: Grey Advertising's Los Angeles office, which is pitching the business with Zimmerman & Partners Advertising in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Foote, Cone & Belding and Citron Haligman Bedecarrƒ, both in San Francisco; and the Los Angeles and New York offices of Deutsch, according to Los Angeles-based Agate.
Both Grey and Zimmerman have handled dealer association business nationwide for the Cypress, Calif.-based Mitsubishi, and decided to pitch the consolidated account together, according to sources. Grey has signed a letter of intent to acquire Zimmerman and wants to conclude the transaction quickly, sources said. The contract is expected to be finalized by the end of the month. Both Grey and Zimmerman declined to comment on the deal.
Agate said a client review committee will meet with the four contenders at the end of this month.
"Chemistry checks will be conducted and assessments made of the [agencies'] potential fit with [the client's] needs and expectations," he said.
The list of contenders will then be cut to finalists, with a final decision expected by the end of November.
Grey's subsidiary, G2 Advertising in Huntington Beach, Calif., handles Mitsubishi's estimated $100 million factory advertising account. --with Hank Kim, Joan Voight and Jim Osterman