Hyundai Cuts to 3 in $800 Mil. Pitch

NEW YORK Hyundai/Kia has narrowed its search for an agency to handle U.S. media duties on the two brands, sources said.

Still contending are Interpublic Group’s Initiative and Havas Media, both in Los Angeles, and the incumbent, Aegis Group’s Carat in New York, according to sources. A fourth agency, Publicis Groupe’s Optimedia in New York, has been cut, said sources.

Final presentations took place during the first two weeks of December. Client executives are now said to be asking the remaining finalists for further information, as needed.

Roth Associates, the New York consultancy managing the process, declined to comment on the contenders. Roth did say, however, that the client won’t select an agency until next month at the earliest.

Combined major media spending on Hyundai and Kia totaled around $800 million last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Creative duties for Hyundai and Kia, now at Omnicom Group’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco and independent davidandgoliath in El Segundo, Calif., respectively, are not in play.