Pitch update: Debenhams, Gala Bingo, Freeview, M&S and more

Pitches are progressing for Debenhams and Jaguar Land Rover, while Publicis London's multi-award-winning Tourism Ireland ad account is up for review.

Tourism Ireland's 'Game of Tapestry', created by Publicis London
Tourism Ireland's 'Game of Tapestry', created by Publicis London

Ongoing pitches

Debenhams is at pitch stage for its advertising business, currently held by J Walter Thompson. The retailer shortlisted Karmarama, Mother, Portas and Mcgarrybowen after the first round of the review, which is expected to complete later this month. 

Meanwhile, media agencies have been in New York this week trying to get the Jaguar Land Rover pitch over the line. Mindshare is the incumbent. Its relationship with Land Rover stretches back to 2000 when it won the account for the marque, which was then owned by Ford.

New-business rankings: creative accounts

Reviews

Tourism Ireland is looking for lead global creative and media agencies, with Creativebrief advising. Currently working with Publicis London and Dentsu agencies Carat and iProspect, the organisation is following a statutory requirement to retender for these services every seven years and will appoint the successful agencies in May 2018. The brand's Game of Thrones-led tourism work has earned Publicis multiple awards at Cannes in recent years.

Gala Bingo owner Gala Leisure is reviewing its advertising business and was due to hear pitches this week. AAR is handling the process and Cravens currently works on the Gala Bingo brand.

WaterWipes, the Irish baby wipe brand, is looking for its first UK ad agency with the help of AAR. The brand launched its first ad campaign in the US earlier this year.

New-business rankings: media accounts

Wins

Freeview has appointed Rocket to handle its £15m media account. The Omnicom agency triumphed over Blue449 and Goodstuff Communications in a competitive pitch. MEC is the incumbent.

Marks & Spencer has appointed Zone for a digital innovation and customer experience brief. The agency will work as an extension of the in-house team to research new consumer experience-led concepts, from mobile-first strategies, to ecommerce and payment initiatives across the retailer’s grocery, home, clothing and food business. There is no incumbent.

Investec, the financial services company, has appointed Leagas Delaney for its creative business. The agency beat FCB Inferno in a final shootout. Bartle Bogle Hegarty Sport was also involved in the process. The account was previously handled by financial services specialist agency Gravity London. AAR handled the pitch process.

Initiative has won Value Retail Group's £10m European media account after a competitive pitch against MediaCom, Havas Media and an incumbent Dentsu Aegis Network group. Value Retail owns Bicester Village and other retail outlets around the world. Creativebrief handled the process. 

Girlguiding has appointed J Walter Thompson London to handle an upcoming brief. The work will be digitally and socially led and is due to break in November. The agency pitched against a number of undisclosed agencies and there is no incumbent.

Flipper, the energy-switching service, has appointed Atomic London as its first lead creative agency after a competitive pitch process. The company, owned by Wessex Water, held chemistry meetings with agencies in July before running a competitive pitch the following month. 

Polaroid Originals has appointed Margaret_ to create a launch campaign for its new analogue instant camera, the Polaroid OneStep 2, following a competitive pitch.

River Island has appointed Studio Blvd as its creative agency without a pitch. The first work from the agency, which replaces ODD, will be the retailer’s spring/summer 2018 campaign, out in February.

The Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, has appointed Jane Wentworth Associates to develop its brand strategy following a competitive pitch. There was no incumbent.

Fitness brand Gymbox has brought on Mother London as its creative agency to develop its brand, following a competitive pitch. There was no incumbent on the business. Founded in 2001, Gymbox offers 104 different fitness classes each week as well as a group of personal trainers.