Pitch update

M&C Saatchi has been knocked out of the race for the NHS Blood & Transplant's organ donor pitch, designed to promote organ donation in the UK.

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R are the two agencies left in the process, which has now gone to the research stage.

A result is expected by the end of the week on the pitch for the GlaxoSmithKline brands NiQuitin CQ, the nicotine replacement brand, and Alli, the weight-loss product. The final contenders are TBWA\ and Havas Worldwide, which is pitching with WCRS.

Chemistry meetings for Virgin Media TV take place next week. Rumour has it that there are five agencies involved, and, despite his best efforts, Gary Lace's start-up Campbell Lace Beta is not one of those.

Innocent is keeping true to its word, conducting its ad pitch in a streamlined fashion. The company is due to unveil a shortlist by the end of this week.

The children's charity Barnardo's has revealed the three agencies that are lining up to become what it describes as "a best-in-class specialist digital partner" to work alongside Bartle Bogle Hegarty. And it's a heavy-hitting list with Poke, Agency Republic and Dare all competing for the account. The process is being handled by Oystercatchers.

Zurich, the financial services group, is at the final conversation stage of its £100 million global pitch between Aegis and WPP's Mindshare, with a result expected next week.

And chemistry meetings for the £80 million Lloyds media review also take place next week, with a pitch scheduled for 24 June. However, a result is not expected until September.

Meanwhile, the Ikea global media pitch looks likely to test the patience of everyone involved. Agency-folk have been scratching their heads over an Ikea questionnaire asking them whether they use child labour, prisoners or forced/bonded labour. Times may be tough, but we hope that media agencies haven't resorted to those tactics just yet.

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