Finalists Emerge in Mohegan Sun Review

Four New York agencies have advanced to the final round of Mohegan Sun’s creative and media planning review.

Mohegan Sun identified the finalists as Havas’ Arnold, Publicis Groupe’s Publicis and independents Cramer-Krasselt and People Ideas & Culture. The winner will replace MDC Partners’ Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners in New York, which is not defending.

Final presentations are scheduled for Jan. 26 and 27 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn.

Major media spending on the brand approached $10 million last year, down from about $15 million in 2008, according to Nielsen. Spending in the first eight months of this year totaled $4 million. The figures don’t include online spending.

To handle the media planning piece, Arnold, Publicis and People Ideas & Culture are teaming with Cross Media; Optimedia; and Horizon Media, respectively. Cramer-Krasselt has its own media department.

The finalists emerged from a field of six agencies that Mohegan Sun executives visited last week. Not making the cut were Omnicom Group’s Merkley + Partners in New York and Interpublic Group’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston.

Media buying duties are not in play and remain at independent shops Mediaspace Solutions in Norwalk, Conn. (print) and Mintz & Hoke in Avon, Conn. (other media).

Ark Advisors in Playa del Rey, Calif., is managing the search. The company hopes to conclude the process next month.