There's been a twist in the £25 million Muller ad review. JWT has dropped out after picking up the Premier Foods brand Ambrosia, with Mother replacing the agency on the pitchlist. The competing shops are now Beattie McGuinness Bungay, Leo Burnett, VCCP and Mother. Briefings have taken place and agencies will present after Easter.
Staying with food, Bahlsen, the upmarket German biscuit brand, wants an advertising agency in the UK. Oystercatchers has been in touch with shops and invited them to compete for the business, with RFIs due to be submitted at the end of the week.
Orbis, the mutual fund company on the hunt for an ad agency, has drawn up a pitchlist, which includes two start-ups. Competing shops are The Corner, Johnny Fearless, St Luke's and Isobel. The process is being run through AAR.
The BBC has shortlisted Maxus, MEC, Initiative and the incumbents, MPG Media Contacts and PHD, for its £5 million media business. Agencies need to complete an e-tender document by 30 April, with presentations scheduled for the first week of May. Agencies that have a Manchester division (MEC and PHD) could have an advantage, as the brief asks shops how they would handle a business that has two locations.
The betting group Rank Interactive, which owns the Blue Square, Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casino brands and which recently kicked off a media and creative review, has shortlisted agencies including Initiative, PHD and Carat for its above-the-line buying business, currently handled in-house. It remains to be seen who will have the right cards to play at the presentations next Thursday and Friday.
The final three in the Specsavers media pitch (Vizeum, Manning Gottlieb OMD and the incumbent, MEC) had until this Wednesday (21 March) to supply their commercial information ahead of next week's pitches.
And pitches for the giant Unilever global media business, involving the incumbents, Initiative, Mindshare and PHD, are expected to take place in late April.