Pitch Update

It seems that John Lewis just can't make up its mind about who it thinks should handle its advertising account.

Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy and Adam & Eve were told in the middle of last week that a winner would be chosen before the weekend - but were still waiting to find out on Monday morning.

And when the call eventually came, it wasn't to announce a winner, but to tell them that the John Lewis marketing team liked them both so much that it just couldn't decide between the two and had, therefore, decided to give them a whole new brief to tackle - with another round of meetings scheduled for next week. No weekend for those pitching teams.

The gang of agencies in the Debenhams pitch - Bartle Bogle Hegarty, M&C Saatchi, JWT, Publicis and Karmarama - have all been given their pitch times with meetings beginning on the week commencing 23 February.

The E.ON list is also getting closer to completion, and it appears that Bartle Bogle Hegarty has joined the pitching agencies Fallon, Rapier, WCRS and DDB. Will that be the lot, though?

COI's Department for Work and Pensions pitch is well underway, with Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners, Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy and CHI & Partners all readying themselves.

The Red Brick Road, meanwhile, which has had a bad week with Heineken (page 1), may have to notch up its efforts to seal the deal on the Thomas Cook pitch that fell by the wayside last year. Despite extended conversations with the travel agent, it seems another agency has got in on the act after Hurrell Moseley Dawson & Grimmer was spotted emerging from the company's head office recently.

Pitches for the £69 million global HP media business took place in California last week. The technology company seems to be moving the process forward swiftly, with pitching agencies expecting to be informed of a result in the next few days. The incumbent, ZenithOptimedia, presented against rivals from Carat, Group M (said to involve both Mediaedge:cia and Mindshare) and OMD.

Things are picking up in the world of direct marketing. All Leisure Holidays, the cruise holiday company that owns the tour operators Voyages of Discovery, Swan Hellenic and Discover Egypt, is on the hunt for an agency. And Sega is looking for a volunteer to help promote its Football Manager Live multiplayer online game.

Thomson, meanwhile, has come up with a shortlist of four agencies for its £2 million direct marketing account. Chemistry, Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw, Lida and the incumbent, WDMP, made it through from a long list of ten, with a first round of pitches taking place in the middle of next month.

Less encouraging is the news that Visa has killed off its digital pitch because of the economic climate after calling a review through ISBA back in August. Looks like it will revert to working with agencies on a project basis until the recession cloud has passed.