Pitch update

Pitches for the Department of Health's advertising account will start in September. Agencies are being invited to compete for the three strands that make up its now much-reduced business: Change4Life, anti-smoking and a new campaign strategy that targets older people.

The O2 direct marketing review continues apace - the long list of agencies that responded to the RFI is expected to be whittled down to just five over the next couple of weeks.

It's almost crunch-time on the Vodafone pitch. The three shortlisted WPP agencies - JWT London, Ogilvy & Mather and Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R - have completed tissue meetings with the mobile-phone operator ahead of the pitches taking place next week. This week's talking point has been whether Clare Sheikh, the newly appointed group brand director, will have any influence on the decision.

Competition for the dairy brand Onken's advertising account is hotting up. One of the shortlisted agencies, 18 Feet & Rising, failed to make it through to the final round, which leaves just Euro RSCG London and Hooper Galton in the running.

In media, the Barclays international pitch promises to be an interesting one. The UK incumbent, Walker Media, is lining up against the networks Maxus and OMD for the account, and it seems that the M&C Saatchi-owned agency is working with Havas Media, which owns MPG and Arena Media, as its international partner on the pitch.

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