Shops Advance in Global ExxonMobil Review

ExxonMobil has narrowed the creative field in its global advertising review to a half-dozen semifinalists, sources said.

Sources identified the shops as Publicis Groupe’s Publicis, Omnicom Group’s BBDO, the Interpublic Group team of The Martin Agency and Lowe and the three incumbents: Havas’ Euro RSCG (corporate image duties), IPG’s McCann Erickson (ads for lubricants, chemicals) and Omnicom’s DDB (ads for fuels).

The cut came after an estimated eight to 10 agencies met last month with client executives at ExxonMobil’s headquarters in Irving, Texas. Among the shops that failed to advance were Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett and IPG’s Deutsch/Lowe, said sources.

Client executives will brief the remaining agencies, which will in turn make presentations in late April, according to sources. Based on those presentations, ExxonMobil will cut to a handful of finalists. The client hopes to complete the process by the end of June.

Global media duties—now at Havas’ MPG (corporate image), IPG’s Universal McCann (lubricants/chemicals) and Omnicom’s OMD (fuels)—also are in play. Collectively, the creative and media assignments represent an estimated $40 million in revenue.

ExxonMobil is reviewing the media piece separately but concurrently with the creative account. The media contest is down to three finalists: MPG, UM and OMD, sources said.

Joanne Davis Consulting in New York is managing the review.

The agencies either declined to comment or referred calls to the client, which had no comment. The search consultancy also declined to comment.

—With Noreen O’Leary and Steve McClellan