Citron Haligman Bedecarrƒ last week withdrew from the review for Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America's estimated $65-80 million dealer account as the automaker's Canadian unit kicked off a search.
Catherine Bension, senior partner at consultancy Select Resources International in Los Angeles, which is assisting MMSA in the search, confirmed Citron's exit.
The San Francisco shop pulled out because it did not expect the review to develop into a chance for the client's $100 million factory account (handled by G2 Advertising in Huntington Beach, Calif.), sources said.
The three remaining finalists will be given a "work assignment," said Bension. They are: Grey/Zimmerman; Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco; and Deutsch, New York and Los Angeles. Grey/Zimmerman is a new alliance between Zimmerman & Partners Advertising in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and G2 parent Grey Advertising, which is acquiring Zimmerman. Its pitch is being led by Grey's Los Angeles office. A decision is expected by the end of November.
Separately, MMSA Distribution Services Canada has contacted 13 Canadian agencies to pitch its estimated $20 million ad account, said Bob Skinner, director of marketing for the Mississauga, Ontario, company.
He declined to identify contenders, other than to say, "Some of them are affiliated with U.S. agencies." MMSA will select three or four finalists and then a winner before the end of the year, he said. --with Joan Voight