Pitch update

If you're working the advertising new-business market, you'll know times are tough. Even the matchmakers are complaining it's quiet.

That could explain why we've got agencies of DDB and Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R's calibre battling for the Rosemount Estate wine account.

Meanwhile, East Midlands Trains has drawn up a shortlist of three. Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners, M&C Saatchi and VCCP will be pitching their hardest in mid-March, with a result expected promptly.

Now, we'd love to know who the Midlands retailer with the big budget is. A spec has been issued by agencyplaza.com (we hadn't heard of it either) calling for an agency with more than 50 staff and offices in the West Midlands or North-West. The budget is more than £10 million.

Agencies seem a little busier in the media world this week, however. Vizeum, Mediaedge:cia and the incumbent, Starcom, are getting ready for a United Biscuits pitch in mid-March. Virgin Media, meanwhile, has drawn up a five-strong list for its planning and buying account: Carat, Walker Media, Starcom, OMD and the incumbent, PHD.

Direct marketing shops were excited at the prospect of a £15 million pan- European HP pitch (revealed by Campaign last week). However, enthusiasm appears to have diminished as the word "auction" keeps coming up in conversations with the potential client. Yuck!

And finally... if you have failed to get a place on the Mauritius tourism pitch (and the likely spot on a sun lounger in the name of pitch research), take heart. Hong Kong needs an ad agency to promote its wares to the world. The Hong Kong Tourist Board has already listed Euro RSCG, Ogilvy, Publicis, Grey, Saatchi & Saatchi and DDB; any other hopefuls must get their bids in by 28 February.

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