Pitch update

In a dramatic turn of events, the Diet Coke pitch has been called off.

As we reported last week, the process (which kicked off last year after the brand split with Mother) had resulted in just one remaining agency, the start-up The Corner. However, after the Coca-Cola top brass in Atlanta were called in to give their verdict, the whole thing has apparently been cancelled.

The news will be very frustrating for the agencies involved, not least The Corner. The one silver lining is that Coke paid the agencies' pitching fees, so at least they won't be out of pocket. What happens next is anyone's guess - Coca-Cola works in mysterious ways.

Sticking up two fingers to those tedious people who make great play about deciding to give up booze in January, the advertising pitches for two alcohol-related accounts moved on apace last month. The Observatory-handled pitch for Russian Standard Vodka is shortlisting agencies at the end of this week, while the consortium of brewers working with the British Beer & Pub Association has put 101, DLKW Lowe, Now and Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R through to the next stage.

The final two agencies pitching for Kerrygold's £3 million advertising account are on tenterhooks. Creature and Karmarama should hear the result some time this week. Here's hoping, anyway. The powers that be at Kerrygold don't seem to be in too much of a hurry - the pitch kicked off in September last year.

Macmillan Cancer Support's review has finally moved on to its second round of tissue meetings. Agencies competing for the £10 million business are M&C Saatchi, VCCP and Creature. Pitches are expected to take place during next week and the process is being handled by Oystercatchers.

Elsewhere, the audit and accountancy firm KPMG is looking for an ad agency to handle its recruitment account. Given the number of graduates fighting over the few existing jobs already, does KPMG really need to advertise? Nonetheless, in this economic climate, the pitch is extremely welcome for agencies.

Agencies - both media and advertising - waiting for the result on the Suzuki contest should soon be put out of their misery. The final creative pitches were held at the beginning of this week, while media meetings took place last week.

Meanwhile, Specsavers found its way to the doors of six media agencies as it kicked off its £39 million media review. Agencies involved include Vizeum, UM London, Manning Gottlieb OMD and the incumbent, MEC.

It seems there has been a conclusion to the Post Office and Royal Mail media pitch process. Mindshare is expected to land the Post Office business, while UM London is in pole position on the Royal Mail account. However, an official announcement is not expected until next week due to Post Office legal procedures.