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Mitsubishi Review Narrowed to 4

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Grey and Zimmerman Pitch Together; Sign Letter of Intent
LOS ANGELES--Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America has whittled the list of contenders for its $65-80 million national dealer account to four agencies, according to Mike Agate of Select Resources International, the consultancy running the review.
The four semifinalists are: Grey Advertising's Los Angeles office, which is pitching the business with Zimmerman & Partners Advertising in Ft. 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 accounts nationwide for the Cypress, Calif.-based Mitsubishi, and decided to pitch the consolidated business together, according to sources. Grey has signed a letter of intent to acquire Zimmerman and wants to conclude the deal 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 agencies 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 subsidiary G2 Advertising in Huntington Beach, Calif., handles Mitsubishi's estimated $100 million factory advertising account. Some of Citron's principals worked on General Motor's Saturn account while at Hal Riney & Partners in San Francisco. FCB recently handled Mazda, but had to resign the account due to parent True North Communications' purchase of Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt, which handles Chrysler. Mitsubishi executives do not consider Chrysler to be a conflict, sources said. --with Hank Kim, Joan Voight and Jim Osterman