2 Advance in Sprint Search

NEW YORK Two agencies have advanced to the final round of Sprint Nextel’s creative review, the client confirmed today.

WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather here and Omnicom Group’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco remain in contention, a client representative said.

WPP’s Young & Rubicam in New York did not advance.

All three shops pitched creative ideas to Sprint marketing executives last week.

O&M and Goodby will return to Sprint’s offices in Kansas City to present to a group of marketing executives on Thursday and a group of corporate leaders, including CEO Gary Forsee, on Friday, according to sources.

Sprint, which last year spent about $1.2 billion in major measured media, hopes to make a selection by the end of the week. Estimated revenue on the work in play is $40 million.

The winner will succeed the tandem of Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York, which creates consumer-directed ads, and Publicis Groupe’s Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco, which crafts business-directed efforts.

Media duties, at WPP’s MindShare in New York, are not in play.

Sprint’s current campaign features actor Ron Livingston and uses the tagline, “Power up.” That effort began in September, after 13 months of a campaign tagged, “Yes, you can.”