American Skiing Co. Selects Finalists

SAN FRANCISCO American Skiing Co., operator of seven ski resorts nationwide, has chosen finalists in the review for its $20 million advertising account, sources said.

Making the cut are Interpublic Group’s McCann-Erickson in New York; Publicis Groupe’s Publicis in Seattle and Salt Lake City; and independent Via of Portland, Maine, sources said. Via is already a client roster shop.

Other agencies that had been involved in the review’s early stages were Omnicom’s DDB in San Francisco; Havas’ Euro RSCG in New York; and independent Blitz Media, Middletown, N.Y., sources said. DDB and Euro RSCG have been eliminated from contention, sources said. It could not be determined if Blitz, also on the client’s roster, progressed to the finals [, March 26].

Despite an earlier report from the client, Interpublic’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos of San Francisco and Omnicom’s BBDO in New York did not participate, agency representatives said.

The Park City, Utah-based client did not return calls for comment.

American Skiing has said it is looking for a full-service agency to handle advertising that will encompass TV, radio and print, as well as public relations and event marketing. The focus will be on next year’s ski business, although the company operates its resorts year-round.

A decision is expected by mid-June.

The client’s properties are: Killington and Mount Snow in Vermont, Sunday River and Surgarloaf in Maine, Attitash Bear Peak in New Hampshire, The Canyons in Utah and Steamboat Springs in Colorado.

According to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, American Skiing spent $3 million on ads last year.