DALLAS--The Richards Group here emerged as one of four shops on the short list of Seattle-based retailer Nordstrom.
The upscale department store launched a review last month to find an agency to handle long-term branding assignments, including the development of its first corporate image campaign.
Catherine Bension, a senior partner with Select Resources International, the Los Angeles consultancy overseeing the search for Nordstrom, confirmed the cut last week.
The other three agencies in contention are Saatchi & Saatchi Pacific in Torrance, Calif.; N.W. Ayer & Partners in New York; and Fallon McElligott in Minneapolis.
Among the shops cut in the previous round were D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Los Angeles; TBWA Chiat/Day, Venice, Calif.; Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York; The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va.; Bates USA in New York and Irvine, Calif.; and Citron Haligman Bedecarrƒ in San Francisco.
Bension said the four finalists will be given an assignment. A decision is expected by the end of March.
Richards also recently advanced to the finals of another review--the creative portion of Epson America's $20 million advertising account. Also in the hunt are DDB Needham, Los Angeles; Seiniger Advertising, Beverly Hills, Calif.; and Rubin Postaer & Associates, Santa Monica, Calif.
ICG Carat and Western International Media, both in Los Angeles, are competing for the media portion.
Another Dallas shop, The Focus Agency, was included in the initial round of Epson's creative search.
Final meetings are set for Feb. 4-5, with a decision expected soon after. Michael Marsak of Effective Marketing Strategies in Marina del Rey, Calif., is conducting the review on behalf of the Torrance, Calif.-based client.