Mini Cooper Selects Four Finalists for $25 Mil. Account

new york BMW’s Mini Cooper cut to four finalists on Friday after holding meetings earlier last week with eight semifinalists. Still vying for the estimated $25 million advertising account are Mother and StrawberryFrog in New York, Venables, Bell & Partners in San Francisco and Butler Shine Stern & Partners in Sausalito, Calif., according to sources. Boone/Oakley in Charlotte, N.C., IPG’s Sedgwick Rd. in Seattle and Taxi and Amalgamated in New York also met with the client. Finalists will be briefed late this week or early next week. MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami resigned the Mini account last month to take on the estimated $400 million Volkswagen of America. Hasan + Co. in Raleigh, S.C., did not return calls. The client confirmed the cut, but would not name contenders.

P&G Mulls Division of $800 Mil. Gillette Media Planning Duties

new york Procter & Gamble is reviewing how it will divide media planning duties on its estimated $800 million Gillette global media account between its two roster shops, Publicis’ Starcom MediaVest Group and Aegis Group’s Carat, a P&G spokeswoman confirmed last week. Conflicts at Carat include Schick and Philips Norelco. P&G took the global media business away from WPP’s MindShare (due to a conflict with Unilever) last week, just days after acquiring Gillette. U.S. buying for Gillette, estimated at $567 million in 2004 by TNS Media Intelligence, was placed with SMG, which handles P&G’s U.S. buying. Overseas buying duties go to local P&G shops. Gillette creative duties are handled by Omnicom’s BBDO.

Hyundai Begins Agency Search For $20 Mil. Hispanic Account

dallas Hyundai Motor America today launched a search for an agency to handle its $20 million Hispanic account after parting with Omnicom’s Dieste Harmel & Partners, the client said. Dallas-based DHP, which has held the account since 1999, will retain the contract through year’s end. Hyundai spent $20 million in measured media in 2004 and $20 million through August 2005, per TNS Media Intelligence. Select Resources International will conduct the search, and Hyundai officials expect to name an agency by the end of the year. Dallas independent The Richards Group represents Hyundai’s mainstream ad account.

Havas’ Bolloré Gains Largest Stake in Aegis, at Over 13%

new york Havas chairman Vincent Bolloré accrued 13.35 percent in Aegis as of Friday, the largest single stake in Aegis, according to the company. Havas said that recent Bolloré comments about his personal investment in Aegis “should not be taken as having any bearing” on Havas’ own interest (or lack thereof) in making a bid for Aegis. No offer from Havas has been disclosed, but last week Aegis confirmed having talks with “more than one party.” Publicis continues to mull making an offer, possibly valued at $2.8 billion. WPP and San Francisco-based investment house Hellman & Friedman declined to comment on reports that they are considering a joint bid for Aegis.

Publicis Wins $10 Mil. Tumi Luggage Creative Duties

new york Luxury luggage manufacturer Tumi last week picked Publicis New York and Publicis Dialog to handle its estimated $10 million global creative account, the agency confirmed. Sources said that Tumi had considered fee proposals from both Publicis and M&C Saatchi following final presentations by four New York shops. Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi and incumbent Avrett Free Ginsberg of IPG also pitched in the final round, sources said. During the year that AFG held the account, Tumi spent about $2 million on ads, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

FCB Breaks New Coors Spot On Monday Night Football

LOS ANGELES Coors Brewing Company kicks off a 30-second spot tonight on ABC’s Monday Night Football. Creative is by IPG’s Foote Cone & Belding, Chicago, and cd Chuck Rudnick. The brewer declined to state push spending. It spent $85 million on Coors Light through July 2005, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.