Nextel Cuts to Four

BOSTON Four finalists have emerged in the review for the $150-million Nextel Communications account, the client confirmed.

Moving forward in the pitch for the Reston, Va.-based wireless telephone company will be incumbent Mullen, a unit of Interpublic Group, defending from its Wenham, Mass., and Winston-Salem, N.C., offices; Havas’ Arnold, Boston; Publicis’ Leo Burnett, Chicago; and Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day, New York. Not advancing were New York agencies Deutsch, an IPG holding, and J. Walter Thompson, a unit of WPP.

Briefings are being held this week with final presentations and a decision due in early April.

Consultancy Roth Associates, New York, which is overseeing the review process, did not return calls. Client officials declined comment.

Seven-year incumbent Mullen had for the past two years featured gruff actor Dennis Franz in spots for Nextel, dropping him as the year began in new spots promoting the client’s walkie-talkie phone feature.