9 Shops Chase BMW in West

LOS ANGELES BMW of North America has named nine semifinalists in the review for the creative portion of its $30 million Western U.S. regional account, said Select Resources International, the consultancy leading the search.

They are: Publicis Groupe’s Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco; Grey Global Group’s Grey in Los Angeles; and independents Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, Sausalito, Calif.; Heil-Brice Advertising in Newport Beach, Calif.; Secret Weapon Marketing in Santa Monica, Calif.; The Concept Farm and WongDoody, both in Los Angeles; and VitroRobertson in San Diego, according to the consultant in West Hollywood, Calif.

Ten-year incumbent Mendelsohn/Zien in Los Angeles, which is partly owned by Hakuhodo, has been given an automatic berth in the finals.

The Woodcliff Lake, N.J.-based client is expected to meet with the semifinalists for a chemistry check within the next few weeks. Following creative presentations, BMW is expected to select an agency by early December.

BMW’s Western region encompasses 76 dealers in 13 Western states, including California, Nevada, Washington and Oregon. Regional ad efforts have focused on convincing consumers to take BMW test drives.