Pitch update

It's been a dismal week for Interpublic Group in Europe, new-business wise - Initiative lost its £215 million Johnson & Johnson account as a result of the global review and MediaVest beat Universal McCann to the combined £26 million UK Premier Foods brief. Can there still be any real justification for keeping two such similar, separate media agency brands in one market? Meanwhile, Carat is starting to look invincible. The J&J win should help its mission to drive up the Aegis share price.

Meanwhile, ad agencies are lining up for the meaty piece of Heinz business that got pulled out of McCann Erickson as a result of some spurious global conflict. Lowe, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, DDB London and Bartle Bogle Hegarty are in the running.

MindShare has been put in a bit of an awkward position following its £10 million Admiral win earlier this month - it's also pitching for Axa. Rumour is rife that it will be forced to pull out because of the win, but sources at the agency are adamant that neither client is bothered about any potential conflict.

The Freeview creative and media brief at the AAR looks like a great opportunity, but you'd better make sure your hands are clean first. The client is determined not to even consider agencies that already work for another broadcaster.

Search marketing is the place to be. British Gas and The Telegraph have kicked off reviews this week, while a decision on the £5 million Sky account is imminent.

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