Six Advance in Mohegan Sun Review

Mohegan Sun has narrowed its search for an agency to replace Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners.

Client executives have selected six agencies to visit, and, based on those visits, will cut again to a handful of finalists, probably three, said George Galinsky, vp of marketing communications at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. The visits will take place in two weeks.

Galinsky identified the semifinalists as Havas’ Arnold in New York; independent Cramer-Krasselt in New York; Interpublic Group’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston; Omnicom Group’s Merkley + Partners in New York; independent People Ideas & Culture in New York; and Publicis Groupe’s Publicis in New York.

Those contenders emerged from a field of 15 shops that replied to an initial request for proposals. Creative and media planning duties are in play. Ark Advisors in Playa del Rey, Calif., is managing the process.

Major media spending on the brand approached $10 million last year, down from $15 million in 2008, according to Nielsen. Spending in the first eight months of this year totaled $4 million. Those figures don’t include online spending.

Media buying duties are not in play and remain at independent shops Mediaspace Solutions in Norwalk, Conn. (print) and Mintz & Hoke in Avon, Conn. (other media).

Mohegan Sun launched the review last month. Kirshenbaum Bond, which has handled the business since 2004, is not defending. The client hopes to conclude the process in late January.

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