The Santander media pitch is also off to a flying start. The five agencies involved in competing for the £32 million business are Starcom, OMD, Arena BLM, Universal McCann and the incumbent, Carat. A pitch for the account, which covers the Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley savings brands, is set for 24-25 November. Then, in line with recent Abbey tradition, there will be an online auction on 17 December. The final decision is expected on 19 December, which will be a relief to those who don't much care for spending their Christmas holidays holed up in the office.
Three networks will battle it out for Canon's £50 million EMEA media account. The incumbent, Mediaedge:cia (with sister agency BJK&E handling UK media), has declined to repitch, so the shortlist is Carat, PHD and Universal McCann. The AAR is co-ordinating the process, with the next stage involving pitches in the first week of December.