Smith Barney Adds 4th Finalist

NEW YORK Publicis here has emerged as a late contender in Smith Barney’s estimated $35 million review, expanding the list of finalist agencies to four, sources said.

As a result, the process has been extended to give the Publicis Groupe shop time to prepare for its final presentation, said sources. The other finalists—Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson, WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam and independent Gardner Nelson & Partners, all in New York—are said to be pitching this week and next, and Publicis, in two to three weeks.

Both creative and media duties are in play.

The review was triggered largely by the incumbent, IPG’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, taking on creative duties for the global wealth and investment management division of Bank of America, a Smith Barney competitor. As such, Hill, Holliday did not defend.

Smith Barney is a division of Citigroup Global Capital Markets, whose parent company, Citigroup, also owns Citibank. The bank last month named Publicis its lead global agency, after seven years with Publicis Groupe’s Fallon in that role.

Publicis declined comment and the New York client could not immediately be reached. The process is being managed by New York-based consultancy Source
Martin, which did not return calls.