Pitch Update: Virgin Media reveals shortlist, Post Office result imminent, Iceland hunts for ad agency

Campaign rounds up the latest ongoing pitches, agency reviews and new wins.

Ongoing pitches

Virgin Media is putting two established adland agencies – Adam & Eve/DDB and Havas London – against start-ups Uncommon Creative Studio and Wonderhood Studios. Dubbed the pitch list of the year by one exec, it’s a battle that we’ll all be paying close attention to. Eight-year incumbent Bartle Bogle Hegarty declined to repitch. Virgin Media is working with AAR on the process and pitches are due to take place from 4 March.

The agencies that pitched for the Post Office account more than two weeks ago are hoping to be put out of their misery today. Unlimited Group and Ogilvy are both hoping to snare the business away from the incumbent, MullenLowe. Post Office chief marketing officer Emma Springham is leading the review through the Official Journal of the European Union. The winner will work with Manning Gottlieb OMD on media buying and partner Carat on media planning.

Reviews

Just four months since Iceland parted ways with Karmarama to take its creative account in-house, the supermarket chain is in talks with ad agencies. Neil Hayes, marketing director at Iceland, told Campaign that the business is "exploring potential partners to support us on advertising strategy and campaigns this year and preliminary conversations are under way".

Anomaly London, Droga5 London and TBWA\London are battling it out for the creative business of price-comparison site GoCompare.com. The process follows the appointment of Zoe Harris as chief marketing officer last year. The brand has not worked with a creative agency since 2015, when it parted ways with Fold7.

Wins

Unilever has been shifting its agency relationships. It has handed detergent brand Surf to Adam & Eve/DDB after a competitive pitch, after the FMCG giant decided to appoint a retained local agency in place of its long-standing global arrangement with Bartle Bogle Hegarty. Unilever has also widened AnalogFolk’s remit by making it digital agency of record for its homecare brands in the UK, including Persil, Surf, Domestos, Cif, Seventh Generation, Neutral and Day 2.

Havas Helia has nabbed the Lloyds Banking Group CRM account after a final shoot-out against WPP agency Wunderman. The incumbent is Proximity London, which made it to the last three. Lloyds worked with Creativebrief on the pitch process.

P&O Cruises has put its faith into Bristol agency Armadillo for its £5m CRM business. The five-way pitch included incumbent Lida, which won the account in 2015.

Another brand that has decided to work with a smaller agency is Strongbow. The cider brand has moved its account to Otherway after the shop beat incumbent Adam & Eve/DDB to the post.

Breakfast and snack brand Moma is now working with St Luke’s for advertising and brand communications after a pitch that was handled in-house. The agency has created the brand’s biggest campaign to date that is now live on digital and static out-of-home screens. Moma has previously worked with agencies including Aesop and Red Brick Road on a project basis.

Spark44 has been appointed to the global marketing account for premium audio equipment brand Master & Dynamic. The New York-based company is Spark44's first global client since the 2011 formation of the agency, a joint venture between Jaguar Land Rover and agency management dedicated to the Jaguar and Land Rover brands.

Lime Creative has picked up the global ad account for luxury residential and hospitality development Andermatt Swiss Alps. Lime beat five UK and Swiss agencies to the brief. It is the first time the brand has worked with a UK agency, having previously handled most marketing in-house.

Manolete Partners, the insolvency litigation funding group, has appointed The Corner as its lead creative agency. In December 2018, the company launched on AIM on the London Stock Exchange with an initial market capitalisation of £76m. The Corner has already delivered a full brand redesign for Manolete Partners and will now begin work on a marketing campaign. The appointment follows a competitive pitch. There was no incumbent.

FFS, the subscription shaving brand for women, has appointed digital marketing agency Cavalier following a pitch process to bolster its online marketing efforts. It is the first time the brand has appointed a full-service digital agency, although it has previously worked with Hearts & Minds, including on its first TV ad last year.

Butcher’s Pet Care is working with Birmingham-based agency Life as its strategic and creative partner after a five-way pitch. There was no incumbent.

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