$600 Mil. Philips Eyes 2

NEW YORK Philips Electronics has chosen incumbent Aegis Group’s Carat and WPP’s Mediaedge:cia as the finalists in its $600 million global media review, according to sources.

In December Philips pared down the list of contenders to four, including the two finalists and Omnicom Media Group and Publicis Groupe’s ZenithOptimedia. The latter two were dropped last week following a mid-January round of presentations, sources said.

The review is expected to take six months to complete, the company said, indicating that the new agency structure would be in place by April. The winner is expected to be chosen in March, per sources.

The company spends about $100 million annually on ads in the U.S.

Carat won a consolidation review for the global account in 2001, with estimated spending at that time of $600 million. (Philips said in its 2005 annual report that worldwide advertising and sales promotion costs totaled nearly $1.2 billion, but did not provide a further breakout.)

The account went into review in October. The Netherlands-based Philips said in a statement that the review was being undertaken “to accelerate its marketing and branding efforts within today’s fast-changing media landscape.”

Agencies declined comment or could not be reached. The client could not be reached for comment.