3 Advance in Payless Review

NEW YORK Payless ShoeSource has chosen three finalists for the creative portion of its $60 million ad account, according to Joanne Davis Consulting, which is overseeing the review process.

Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi in New York, Omnicom Group’s Martin/Williams in Minneapolis and independent Chicago shop Cramer-Krasselt will make final presentations in late March. A decision is due in early April.

Not advancing were Omnicom’s BBDO in Chicago, its San Francisco sibling Goodby Silverstein & Partners, and Publicis’ The Kaplan Thaler Group in New York.

The Topeka, Kan., client split with independent Barkley Evergreen & Partners in Kansas City, Mo., in early January. That shop opted not to participate in the review.

Media duties, currently at WPP Group’s Mediaedge:cia, are not in play.

According to the RFI, Payless “wants marketing and advertising that will make the customer feel proud of shopping at Payless, thereby increase her . . . purchases, and to generate new customer interest in shopping at Payless.”

Payless is the nation’s top shoe retailer and competes against Famous Footwear, Shoe Warehouse and DSW, as well as department stores like Penney’s and Kohl’s.

The winning agency will create a campaign for the fall back-to-school season, per the RFI.