Nissan Eyes 3 Finalists for Hispanic Account

LOS ANGELES Nissan North America has cut to three finalists in the review for its Hispanic advertising business, sources said.

Still in contention are Marca Hispanic in Miami, partly owned by MARC USA, Pittsburgh., and independent Vidal Partnership in New York, as well as incumbent independent Ornelas & Associates, which is pitching from its Santa Monica, Calif., and Dallas offices, sources said. Ornelas received an automatic berth in the final round.

Final presentations are scheduled for mid-September.

The Gardena, Calif.-based client, the agencies and the consultancy overseeing the search, Select Resources International in Santa Monica, all declined comment.

Nissan spent more than $20 million on Hispanic ads last year, and $12 million in the first half of 2004, per TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

The company has vowed to increase both Hispanic and African-American ad spending, and sources estimated the budget for the Hispanic work in play as high as $50 million [Adweek Online, May 3].

All told, the client spends more than $800 million annually on ads; its lead agencies are the Playa del Rey, Calif., offices of Omnicom Group’s TBWA\Chiat\Day (creative) and OMD (media).