Waterford Eyes 4 Shops

NEW YORK Four New York agencies have emerged as finalists in Waterford Wedgwood USA’s review of creative and media duties on its Waterford Crystal brand.

The agencies are MDC Partners’ Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners, Cossette Communication Group’s Cossette and independents AgencySacks and ML Rogers, according to Alan Krinsky Associates, the New York consultancy managing the search.

Final presentations are slated for next week at the agencies’ offices, and a decision is due by month’s end. Each contender will get about three hours to present to a handful of client executives.

Waterford selected the finalists after visiting 10 shops last month.

A fifth shop, Omnicom Group’s Merkley + Partners here, also advanced to the final round but withdrew, said consultancy principal Alan Krinsky.

Among the key decision-makers at the Wall, N.J.-based client is Regan Iglesia, svp, marketing. In the past, Waterford has used New York shop Chillingworth/Radding to create print ads for the brand. (Chillingworth/Radding is not participating in the review.) Media duties have been handled in-house.

The winning agency is expected to create traditional and interactive ads as well as collateral for stores and sales executives. Account billings are estimated at about $5 million.

Waterford’s competitors include Baccarat Crystal, Tiffany & Co. and Lenox.

Past major media spending on the Waterford Crystal brand has ranged from more than $1.3 million in 2006 to less than $1 million last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Those figures do not include online spending.