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Paramount Taps Finalists

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Initial Cut Leaves 5 Southeast, Midwest Agencies
ATLANTA-Paramount Parks of Charlotte, N.C., has named five finalists for the creative portion of its $10-15 million business.
According to client vice president of advertising Rob Collins, the five shops that remain from an initial field of more than 20 agencies are: Austin Kelley Advertising, Atlanta; Price/McNabb, Charlotte, N.C.; Bark-ley Evergreen & Partners, Kan-sas City, Mo.; Fahlgren, Dublin, Ohio; and McConnaughy Stein Schmidt Brown, Chicago.
Three of the agencies are also finalists for the media portion of the account, but Collins declined to identify the trio, pending client notification. There are no other media competitors.
Collins said Paramount Parks was "still considering" splitting the business between two agencies, though a separate creative assignment for the company's West Coast operations now appears unlikely.
Incumbent Temerlin McClain gave notice in March, but agreed to stay on until a replacement was found. A representative for the Irving, Texas, agency said the billings income from the account no longer justified the amount of work. Collins called the split "mutual."
He said some of the finalists would pitch again this week, but "there are several that we have enough good information from" and would not need another presentation. He said a decision was expected next month.
Several of the agencies have presented spec work to Paramount, though Collins said a final decision would not be based on creative samples.
"Key to our decision will be the strategic thought process, how [agencies] approach our business, their background and experience and key principals, and the general cultural fit and chemistry," Collins said.