Exclusive: Sonic Names Media, Creative Finalists

Fast-food chain Sonic today named finalists in parallel reviews of creative and media duties on its advertising account.

Sonic identified the creative finalists as Omnicom Group’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco; Publicis Groupe’s Publicis in Dallas and Seattle; and independent Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago. The media finalists are WPP Group’s Maxus in Chicago; Interpublic Group’s Universal McCann in Birmingham, Mich.; and Publicis Groupe’s Zenith Media in New York, according to Sonic.

Final presentations on the media business will take place later this month, and pitches for the creative duties are slated for late January and early February. As such, the media decision is expected before the creative one. Joanne Davis Consulting in New York is managing the dual searches.

Sonic’s major media spending totaled $185 million last year and $116 in the first nine months of 2010, according to Nielsen. Those figures don’t include online spending.

The winners will succeed independent Barkley in Kansas City, which has worked on the brand for 17 years. Barkley, however, remains on the roster, handling public relations and cause marketing efforts for the Oklahoma City, Okla.–based chain.

Sonic today also named Havas’s Euro RSCG Discovery in Chicago to handle point-of-sale and packaging efforts. That hire came after an earlier review.