Hyundai to Pare Contenders’ List

Hyundai Motor America is expected to name five to eight semifinalists as early as this week in the review for its $160 million national creative account, sources said.

Sources said the client has issued RFPs to at least 14 shops, including the incumbent, Bates USA West in Irvine, Calif.

Others that received the RFP include California agencies Foote, Cone & Belding, Irvine; Grey, Los Angeles; Ground Zero, Marina del Rey; Lunch Advertising, Santa Monica; Siltanen/Keehn, El Segundo; and Hill, Holliday and Publicis & Hal Riney, both San Francisco. The RFP was also sent to Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore.; New York shops Berlin Cameron/Red Cell (which has declined to participate), Bozell and Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners; Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis; and Cramer-Krasselt, Chicago, according to sources.

While shops are vying only for the client’s national account, the RFP has left open the possibility that the winner could also gain Hyundai’s dealer account. That business, which the RFP states could raise the budget to $200 million, is currently with Bates.

The Fountain Valley, Calif.-based client is expected to meet with semifinalists the week of Feb. 25 before naming three to four finalists. A decision is expected in mid-April.

The review is being led by Select Resources International in Los An geles, which did not return calls seeking comment.

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