Pitch Update: Travel Republic reviews ad account; Haagen-Dazs pitch practice questioned

Meanwhile, Homebase is due to make a decision on its creative review.

Clockwise from top left: Virgin Experience Days, William Hill, NCS and Groupon
Clockwise from top left: Virgin Experience Days, William Hill, NCS and Groupon

Ongoing

There have been rumblings of unfavourable pitch practices at the General Mills-owned Häagen-Dazs creative review. The brand is understood to have been asking agencies to hand over the intellectual property of their pitch ideas. A spokeswoman for the brand said: "We do not comment on confidential RFP details. Our process is designed to identify the agency with the best ideas for our brand and we look forward to working collaboratively with them to bring those ideas to life."

Atomic, Fold7 and Joint are due to find out today about the Homebase pitch, which is being run through AAR. Homebase held pitches at the end of last month and had planned to announce a winner last week.

Reviews

Travel Republic is reviewing its ad account, which is currently handled by McCann Central. The pitch is being run through AAR. A spokeswoman for Travel Republic said: "Following a strategic review, we are looking at our agency arrangements via a pitch process and we are working with the AAR to manage the pitch process."

Dreams is searching for a media agency to work on its planning and buying account. The incumbent is Starcom.

Weight Watchers has called a review of its media business and is working with Aperto One on the process, which is in the early stages. Blue449 is the incumbent, having worked on the account since 2016, and will repitch.

William Hill is reviewing its creative account. The bookmaker worked with Bark & Bite for seven years, but the agency has decided to end the relationship.

Wins

Essence has picked up the hotly contested L’Oréal media account, ensuring that WPP kept a hold of the business. The incumbent is Wavemaker. Essense saw off competition from Dentsu Aegis Network’s Carat in the final shoot-out. Publicis Media and the7stars were also involved in the process.

Premium chocolate brand Montezuma's has appointed its first agencies, after a series of pitches. The brand has brought on board St Luke's for creative, MediaCom for media and Hot Pickle for experiential. The appointments come after founders Helen and Simon Pattinson sold a majority stake to private-equity group Inverleith in November 2018. Earlier this year, the business hired Debbie Epstein, previously marketing director at Bounce Foods, to lead its marketing.

Groupon has appointed Initiative to handle its media planning and buying across EMEA and Asia-Pacific. The incumbent is Goodstuff Communications.

National Citizen Service has picked MediaCom to work on its media buying account, ending its relationship with Carat, which repitched for the business alongside Omnicom and Zenith.

Atomic came out top for the Virgin Experience Days review, beating Above & Beyond and Snap London in a process via Creativebrief. The brand will launch its first-ever TV ad later this year.

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