Pitch update

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 23 January 2009 12:00AM

It may have been a poor week for new pitches, but spare a thought for those who are awaiting results.

Phones4U had been expected to announce an appointment at any minute, but Mother, Adam & Eve and the incumbent, WCRS, are still on tenterhooks. Apparently, the phone retailer hasn't made up its mind yet.

While the lack of anything resembling an official shortlist from E.ON is making some agencies nervous that they have not made the grade, it's also contributing to more speculation about those that have. This week, Rapier and Fallon join WCRS and DDB as hot favourites to join the list.

The travel and tourism client at the AAR remains a mystery. There are those who think it could be Thomas Cook, which was reported to have been poised to appoint The Red Brick Road in October after a pitch through Oystercatchers, but has remained suspiciously quiet ever since. Others are putting their money on one of the online travel companies, such as Expedia. Some are speculating that the account may move out of the incumbent agency, Freud.

The InterContinental Hotels Group media pitch is entering early stages. Written submissions are due this week and the first stage of the pitch with face-to-face client meetings will take place in February in Atlanta. Starcom is understood to be wading in with the incumbents, Carat and MPG, to compete for the business, which has estimated billings of £80 million.

The media pitch for the video-on-demand service Project Kangaroo is hotting up. The agencies lined up for the estimated £4 million account, understood to be MPG, Mediaedge:cia, Mindshare, OMD and Vizeum, are all pitching next week. Although the proposed service is still awaiting approval, the decision is expected to be swift. Project Kangaroo has already hired Fallon as its creative agency and the Competition Commission is set to publish its final ruling by 8 February.

Meanwhile, the shortlist for the DM pitch for Digital UK, the body in charge of leading the digital television switchover in the UK, has been announced. EHS Brann, Elvis, Tequila and the incumbent, Rapier, will all vie for the business. OgilvyOne was also on the original pitchlist, but has since pulled out. A separate pitch for Digital UK's digital marketing account is being held concurrently, but is not as far advanced. A shortlist of pitching agencies for that account will be announced at the end of this week.

Toyota, which held off making any decision on its direct marketing account in December, will soon be putting agencies pitching for the business out of their misery. Elvis and Stephens Francis Whitson can both expect to hear the result by the end of the week.

In the world of digital, Work Club and R/GA went head-to-head last week in Turin for the Alfa Romeo account after AKQA and WPP's FullSix were eliminated and MRM pulled out. The Italian car client is now going to take two weeks to reach a decision.

Which is considerably less time than it has taken Nokia to reach a conclusion on the review of its global digital marketing account, also involving R/GA, which this time is up against Isobar. A result is expected within the next two weeks, just a year - yes, that's right, a whole year - after the pitch originally kicked off.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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