Pitch update

Well, here it is. A chunky piece of domestic business, a household name, and it's calling a review.

It's just what the new-business market needed. Yes, the Halifax has put its £18 million brief into play. Perhaps the bank feels that in these torrid financial times, having a load of singing employees prancing around on a beach is somewhat inappropriate.

Nevertheless, if you're thinking of participating, the incumbent, Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners, will be the one to beat. Agency Assessments is handling the pitch. It's already sent out requests for information, and is looking at drawing up a longlist of ten, to be cut back to a shortlist of four.

Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy has been unceremoniously removed from Homebase's pitchlist. This leaves McCann Erickson, Leo Burnett and CHI & Partners in the running for the £27 million account. The retailer has put their three ideas into research and is expected to announce a winner in mid-May.

House of Fraser has shunned St Luke's, removing the agency from its shortlist. The move leaves Adam & Eve, Beechwood and Hooper Galton in contention.

The Army has gathered a list of direct agencies to pitch for its prestigious DM account: Tequila, Publicis Dialog, WWAV Rapp Collins and EHS Brann will battle it out.

And finally ... M&C Saatchi is going to defend its tenure of the Tourism Australia global advertising account. We expect the agency has top-level ties with the Australian powers that be, given that M&C's founder Bill Muirhead is the agent general of South Australia. M&C will battle against no fewer than six Australia-based agencies, however, so it has still got its work cut out.