Olympus Narrows Candidates

NEW YORK — Seven agencies remain in the running to handle Olympus’ estimated $15 million account, and the company is expected to winnow the list to three finalists late next week.

Five of the seven shops are from New York: Gotham, Hampel/Stefanides, Margeotes|Fertitta + Partners, Merkley Newman Harty and TBWA\Chiat\Day, said Deborah Klein, ad manager at Olympus in Melville, N.Y. The other two are Mullen in Wenham, Mass. and The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va.

Eliminated from contention were New York shops DiNoto Lee, Bozell, Wieden + Kennedy, D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and Ground Zero, Klein confirmed.

The account encompasses corporate image and camera advertising but not ads for digital-imaging systems, which are handled by X.Com in Santa Ana, Calif., said Klein. The incumbent in the camera business, Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, here, is not defending.

Client executives will visit the agencies early next week, before selecting finalists, according to Klein. Pitches are slated for mid-May, with a decision shortly thereafter. The review is being managed by Richard Roth Associates in Chappaqua, N.Y.