GroupM's Mindshare has been eliminated from the race to win Coles' media account, AdNews understands.
OMD and Zenith are thought to be the frontrunners, with incumbent UM still in the running. It's thought that the final selection will be made ahead of 1 July.
The account includes all of Coles and its subdivisions - including Coles Supermarkets, Coles Liquor, Coles Financial Services - and Target.
Last year, Coles spent $54 million on media and Target spent $35 million, according to Nielsen data.
A shift to Zenith would be a massive coup for new Publicis CEO Matt James after a recent restructure of the Publicis Group. He joined the group at the tail end of 2015 as CEO of Zenith replacing Ian Perrin.
For OMD, winning Coles would add another blue chip organisation to its book after securing Qantas in 2014. The agency lost the $25 million Johnson & Johnson account to UM last year as part of a global pitch, but won acclaim for its Penny the Pirate campaign for OPSM, which helped it top the Gunn report.
For UM, retaining one of Australia's largest accounts would represent another important win for the new leadership of Danny Bass (CEO of IPG Mediabrands) and Ross Raeburn (CEO of UM) after the latter won the $40 million Optus account earlier this year.
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