The pair are understood to have been stood down last week, despite having battled through a number of preliminary stages and been previously informed that they were required to pitch at the beginning of February.
Furthermore, it seems that Saatchi & Saatchi has been drafted into the process at the last minute. The agency will now take on 18 Feet & Rising and the incumbent, Leagas Delaney, in a pitch for the business. Although, if the process so far is anything to go by, don't bet against further drama before a winner is revealed.
Agencies taking part in the BBC roster review were hurled into battle this week. Karmarama, JWT London and the incumbents, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R and Fallon, have all presented. As the deadlines throughout the process have been continually pushed back, no-one is quite sure when the final result will be revealed. The new agency roster has to be in place by April, so the participating shops could have to wait until March to be put out of their misery.
Media agencies are worried that the slow progress of the Virgin Media pitch, which was called in December, means that the process is either on hold or has been called off.
Perhaps they shouldn't be concerned. After all, last year's Virgin Media creative pitch had its share of twists and turns. And the indications are that the process is not on hold and that the client is compiling a shortlist before going back to some of the agencies that held earlier discussions to tell them if they've made the list. The incumbents, Manning Gottlieb OMD, and Goodstuff are expected to be involved in the process.
The whopping £92 million DFS media review is progressing. The incumbents, Brilliant Media in Leeds and MediaCom, are submitting RFIs this week. Other agencies thought to be expressing an interest include Carat, OMD and Maxus. The Doncaster-based furniture giant is set to draw up a shortlist next week, with presentations pencilled-in for the beginning of March. It will be interesting to see if there is much scope for change in the retailer's TV-led media strategy.
Media agencies say that they don't rate their chances of wrestling the Metropolitan Police account out of the clutches of the decade-long incumbent, MediaCom. Competitors seem to think that the WPP agency is favourite after years of sterling and award-winning work. Despite public sector cuts, the account is worth up to £20 million over the next four years, and agencies are presenting next week.