May Narrows Creative Search to 4
DALLAS–The May Department Stores Co., St. Louis, narrowed its agency search to four finalists for the broadcast creative assignments of seven of its chains [Adweek, Aug. 3]. Consultant Strategic Resources International confirmed the cut but would not identify the shops. Sources said the finalists include The Richards Group, Dallas; Merkley Newman Harty, New York; and W.B. Doner & Co., Southfield, Mich. In 1997, May placed $64 million in television advertising for its chains, which include Filene’s, Foley’s and Kaufman’s.

Thrifty Car Rental Names Finalists
DALLAS–Thrifty Car Rental, based in Tulsa, Okla., named four finalists for its $10 million account: The Richards Group, Dallas; Bernstein-Rein Advertising, Kansas City, Mo.; Cliff Freeman and Partners, New York; and Yesawich, Pepperdine & Brown, Orlando, Fla. Cut were Temerlin McClain, Irving, Texas, and Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich. Company representative Chris Payne said presentations will take place Sept. 28-29, with a decision due shortly thereafter. Incumbent Ackerman McQueen, Oklahoma City, declined to defend.

Shooters Set Sights on Porter Novelli
BOSTON–The National Shooting Sports Foundation last week selected New York-based Porter Novelli for its estimated $3 million communications assignment that includes advertising and public relations. Ackerman McQueen, Oklahoma City, and Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., were finalists for the project, said Robert Delfay, president of the trade association.

Stone & Ward Begins Arkansas Campaign
DALLAS–Stone & Ward, Little Rock, Ark., last week kicked off a year-long campaign for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission that uses “It’s your Arkansas. You should know.” as a themeline. The effort includes six 15-second television spots, six newspaper ads and two radio executions. A $250,000 budget will be supplemented by donated TV and radio time from the Arkansas Press Association and Arkansas Broadcasters Association.

Tulsa Shop Bulks Up on Healthcare Work
DALLAS–Fireant Advertising & Marketing, Tulsa, Okla., has added three regional hospitals to its fledgling client roster. The 10-month-old agency was hired by St. John’s Regional Medical Center, Joplin, Mo.; Harris Hospital, Newport, Ark.; and Lakeway Regional Hospital, Morristown, Tenn. Billings were undisclosed.

Montalbano Group Adds Car Dealers
DALLAS–The Montalbano Group, Metairie, La., has landed more than $2 million in total billings by signing six new auto dealer clients, according to the shop. New arrivals at Montalbano are Toyota of Slidell (La.); Greentree Toyota, Clarksville, Ind.; Danville (Va.) Toyota; Jay Marks Toyota, Houston; Mitchell Automotive, West Point, Miss; and Keene (N.H) Mitsubishi.