Pitch update

Strategy meetings for the News International review took place earlier this week. The WPP ad agencies competing, alongside their respective WPP direct and media partner agencies, will go through tissue meetings next week, with a pitch scheduled for 27 March.

The competing agencies on the BT Business pitch are, erm, hanging by the telephone for news. A result on the pitch, which was handled by AAR, is expected next week. HMDG, Now, Ogilvy and TBWA\London were involved in the process.

The pitch for Macmillan Cancer Support looks like a particularly tight run thing, with two competing agencies – VCCP and Creature London – invited back to another round of pitches tomorrow (Friday). M&C Saatchi has been eliminated from the Oystercatchers-managed process that started in November last year.

In contrast, the pitch for the Tesco-owned video-on-demand service Blinkbox moves apace, with invited agencies presenting their wares at the end of the month. Again, Oystercatchers is the intermediary involved.
And a final piece of news on another Oystercatchers-managed pitch – that for McLaren. It is understood that The Brooklyn Brothers and VCCP are down to the final two.

Meanwhile, cynical observers with time on their hands wonder whether the investment deal signed between France Telecom-Orange and Publicis Groupe this week might help Publicis Chemistry’s chances in the current UK Everything Everywhere review of its direct marketing arrangements. Publicis Chemistry works for Orange, part of the Everything Everywhere venture with T-Mobile, but all the work is up for grabs.

On the media front, Sony Music Entertainment is in the process of holding chemistry meetings with a longlist of agencies including MEC, Carat, the7-stars, Arena Media, UM London, Starcom and Mindshare. The incumbent, Manning Gottlieb OMD, is repitching.