BMW, Pep Boys, 1-800-Flowers Pick Finalists

Finalists have emerged in reviews held by BMW Motorcycles, Pep Boys and 1-800-Flowers.
The New York finalists for the estimated $3-5 million BMW business are: Merkley Newman Harty, Grace & Rothschild, Mad Dogs & Englishmen and Lois/EJL, sources said.
The contenders have held strategic meetings with the client. A decision is expected this week, sources said. Ed Robinson, the executive vice president of the motorcycle division, could not be reached. Agencies declined comment.
The business had been expected to go to Fallon McElligott in Minneapolis, lead agency on BMW’s $70 million car account, prior to the dissolution of two-year incumbent Fallon McElligott Berlin here, sources said. It was unknown whether media duties, at DeWitt Media here, are also in play.
Automotive retailer Pep Boys has selected Bates USA here and DDB Needham, Chicago, as finalists for creative duties on its estimated $25 million account, sources said. Bonnie Lamb, ad manager at Pep Boys, did not return calls. The shops declined comment.
The incumbent since 1995 is Cliff Freeman and Partners here. Pro Media in Natick, Mass., handles media buying and planning.
Separately, Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, Cliff Freeman and Partners and Fallon McElligott, all New York, are finalists for the estimated $12-15 million ad account of 1-800-Flowers. McCann-Erickson here, the incumbent since 1993, declined to defend. The client wants a new positioning; current ads tout freshness. A decision is expected in early February.
–with Jennifer Comiteau