Bausch & Lomb Narrows Field to 6

Bausch & Lomb has cut to six agencies for its $30 million North and South America advertising account, sources said.

The New York-based contenders are D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles; BBDO; Cline, Davis & Mann; J. Walter Thompson; and Foote, Cone & Belding, said sources. The sixth shop, Gotham, may pitch with an undisclosed sibling Interpublic Group agency.

Shop executives will begin meetings at the client’s Rochester, N.Y., headquarters during the week of Aug. 15 for a “capabilities meeting,” a source said. By the end of August, there will be a cut to three agencies, which the client will then visit, a source said.

In early September, the client will pare down to two shops, whose executives will meet with higher-ranking Bausch & Lomb executives who are not part of the core-selection committee.

Sources said each of the meetings will be about strategy, including how agencies will market the client’s business overseas. A decision is expected in September.

Some 15 shops received RFPs in late June. The eye-care and contact-lens-products manufacturer uses many different agencies in the Americas and Europe. The latter region is not part of the review.

Joanne Davis Consulting in New York is managing the review. Calls to the consultancy were not returned by press time. The client could not immediately be reached.

Bausch & Lomb last week announced that it was shutting down plants in Miami, Spain and South Korea and was eliminating 450 jobs, or about 4 percent of its workforce.

The company’s main competitors are Alcon, Johnson & Johnson and Novartis.