$150 Mil. Volvo Cuts to 4

NEW YORK Ford Motor Co.’s Volvo confirmed today it has cut to four finalists in its $150 million global creative review.

The remaining contenders are Publicis Groupe’s Fallon, Havas’ Arnold (pitching in tandem with independent U.K. shop Nitro), Omnicom Group’s 180 and the primary incumbent, Havas’ Euro RSCG.

The cut came after visits to the European and U.S offices of the contenders.

Eliminated from contention were independents M&C Saatchi and StrawberryFrog and WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather, said sources.

Next week, client executives will brief the remaining contenders at Volvo’s global headquarters in Goteborg, Sweden. Final presentations are slated for late March.

Euro RSCG handles the brand in the U.S and various overseas markets, though several other shops handle some pieces. In Japan, for example, Volvo’s agency is WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam.

Volvo launched the global contest in December. New York-based consultancy Roth Associates is managing the process.