Wachovia Eyes 4 Finalists for $145 Mil. Account

NEW YORK Wachovia today selected four finalist agency teams to compete for its creative and media account.

A representative for Wachovia, which last year spent about $145 million in major measured media, according to TNS Media Intelligence, identified the teams as Omnicom Group units Merkley + Partners and OMD; WPP Group units Young & Rubicam and Maxus; Interpublic Group units Lowe and Universal McCann; and WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather and Maxus. All are pitching from their offices in New York.

The contenders emerged from a pack of seven teams that client executives visited. Among those not advancing were independent McKinney in Durham, N.C., which partnered with OMD, and independent The Richards Group in Dallas, which partnered with Aegis Group’s Carat in Boston, said sources.

Carat was the incumbent on interactive creative and media duties. The incumbent on traditional creative and media duties, IPG’s Mullen in Winston-Salem, N.C., was cut in an earlier round.

Not in play are collateral and in-branch marketing efforts, which remain at IPG’s Erwin-Penland in Greenville, S.C.

The finalists will be briefed Monday at Wachovia, which is based in Charlotte, N.C., according to sources. Work sessions are slated for mid-August and final presentations for mid-September.

Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif., is managing the process.