The intermediary's survey of UK business that reviewed in 2010 shows that the total number of reviews was down 16.5 per cent in the first 11 months of the year compared with the same period in 2009.
According to the AAR, the number of completed advertising reviews fell by 17.2 per cent, dented by a decline in COI reviews, while digital reviews were down 14.9 per cent, direct marketing dropped by a whopping 33.9 per cent and media reviews fell by 10.7 per cent.
That said, new-business impetus appears to be building in 2011 with several large pitches called in the first few weeks. And, following news last week that M&C Saatchi has been appointed to handle pro bono the early stages of VisitBritain's campaign to promote Great Britain during the run-up to the 2012 Olympic Games, it's emerged that in five months' time, a competitive pitch will be held. And it's understood that a selection of undisclosed agencies have already been contacted through COI with an initial RFI ahead of the pitch process.
It appears that Dare, which this week landed the £12 million Post Office business, isn't desperate to pitch for everything. It is thought that the agency has pulled out of both the easyJet and Moneysupermarket.com pitches. The decision to pull out of the latter means that the company will be appointing a new agency as Dare created the current campaign featuring John Prescott and Jedward.
It's almost crunch time for the three agencies vying for the Halifax advertising account. Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, Adam & Eve and Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R will pitch next week, with a result due in early February.
Swinton, which is looking for an agency to handle the launch of a price comparison website, has shortlisted three agencies to pitch for the business. Beattie McGuinness Bungay, Beta and Isobel will all be going up against each other.
Garmin is a sat-nav company so it is surprising that it has chosen such a long, circuitous route for its pitch process. The company first approached agencies regarding a review of its £8 million EMEA advertising account in August last year, and it's taken until now to come up with a shortlist. The competing agencies are Grey, AMV BBDO and M&C Saatchi.
And it seems that RKCR/Y&R has resigned its Rosemount and Lindemans wines business, a timely move as the January detoxing sets in. The Rosemount global ad account is up for review so it is likely that Treasury Wine Estates, which owns Lindemans and Rosemount, will include both brands in the process.
Meanwhile, media agencies are still waiting for tender documents in the £4 million BAA review. The airport company was due to send the documents out at the start of January but the Christmas snow crisis seems to have left BAA with its head in the clouds.