Zenith Media and Walker Media are tipped as front-runners to win IPC Magazines’ media planning and buying business, worth about 9m.
Zenith is likely to continue to handle the women’s weeklies, such as Woman and Woman’s Own, with Walker Media tipped to take other titles in IPC’s stable.
The publishing group denies it has split accounts between Zenith and Walker Media.
Also involved in the pitch were Manning Gottlieb Media, MediaCom TMB and incumbent CIA Medianetwork, which handles the TV Weeklies and Music & Sport groups, including Loaded and TV Times.
Carat, incumbent on the SouthBank Publishing account which publishes Marie Claire, withdrew from the review last month.
At the outset of the review, which began in November last year, it was thought that IPC wanted to centralise the media buying into one agency.
In December, the company awarded its creative accounts for music titles NME and Melody Maker to Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters.
Last November the publishing group pledged to spend 25m on its marketing.