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.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here