Boots move casts doubt on £80m WPP business

Boots has confirmed that it is reviewing its media planning and buying account as well as its advertising business, in a move that puts WPP Group’s &£80m global marketing services agreement with the retailer under threat.

The company is also looking at how it handles customer relationship marketing, direct marketing and design.

WPP’s J Walter Thompson handles the &£44m creative advertising account for the Boots retail business in the UK and its sister agency MindShare handles media planning and buying.

A Boots spokesman says: “As part of our ongoing brand and marketing development activity we are reviewing our UK retail and media planning and buying relationships. We anticipate that current agencies will repitch and we aim to start the process at the end of August. We have not yet agreed a pitch list.”

Mother, TBWA/London, Grey London and Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO are understood to be among the agencies being considered. In the past, Boots has operated strict rules on conflict and these could prove to be a hurdle in relation to AMV, which handles Sainsbury’s.

It is understood that the review has not yet extended to Boots Healthcare International’s Crookes Healthcare business, which includes brands such as Clearasil and E45. McCann-Erickson handles the advertising for the division and MindShare the media buying.

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