The Washington Post has selected Needham, Harper and Steers, an advertising firm with headquarters in New York, to handle the newspaper's advertising account.

The newspaper's former agency, Earle Palmer Brown, resigned as the Post's agency in October, after 17 years together. Brown created advertising campaigns for the newspaper including catchy jingles set to Beach Boys tunes.

The Washington Post said it reviewed the services of 22 local full-service advertising agencies before choosing Needham, Harper and Steers. Washington Post promotion director Mary Ann Tortorello declined to say how large the account is. The agency is one of a handful of major agencies, including Ogilvy & Mather and J. Walter Thompson, that operate Washington offices.

The last contract with Earle Palmer Brown expired Nov. 30.

The account will be Needham, Harper and Steers' fifth-largest Washington-area account, said Jim Williams of the agency. Other accounts handled out of the Washington office include the National Guard, McDonalds and the Gas Appliances Manufacturers Association.

The agency moved to Washington in 1972 at the request of McDonalds to handle that account. In 1978, Needham, Harper and Steers began acquiring other accounts and has handled local advertising including campaigns for radio station Q107 and the Jockey Club restaurant.

The agency's first priority will be to develop "an image-building campaign" for The Post, Williams said.