Five Advance in Kia PR Review

BOSTON Five agencies have emerged as semifinalists in a public relations account review conducted by Kia Motors America, the client confirmed.

The Irvine, Calif.-based car manufacturer’s PR account has been with Pacific Communications Group, Torrance, Calif., a division of CCO Communications in Detroit, for the past six years. Pacific Communications is participating in the review, according to client director of public relations Kim Custer.

“They’ve provided excellent services and we have a great relationship, but from time to time you have to see what’s out there,” said Custer. “With a company growing as fast as ours is, we want to look at all resources in the years ahead.”

Also in contention are Publicis Groupe’s Publicis Dialog, Seattle; Grey Global Group’s GCI Group, Los Angeles; WPP Group’s Douglas Cohn & Wolf, Los Angeles; and PR21, a Santa Monica, Calif., division of Edelman Public Relations.

Custer said he plans to narrow the list further in the next week, with a final decision by mid-July. Assisting in the process is consultant Jerry Swerling of Swerling & Associates in Malibu, Calif.

The budget is in the high six-figure range, Custer said.

Kia’s advertising account, handled by davidandgoliath in Los Angeles, is not part of the review, Custer said.