JWT is poised to scoop the &£11m advertising account for Boots’ consumer brands, once Reckitt Benckiser’s &£1.9bn acquisition of Boots Healthcare International goes through.
The move will strengthen the agency’s position on Reckitt’s global advertising roster, which also includes Euro RSCG London.
Industry insiders say the household goods and personal care giant will hand the business for all the BHI brands – including Clearasil, Strepsils, Nurofen, Karvol and Optrex – to JWT when the deal completes early next year.
It also means that McCann Erickson, which has handled BHI’s advertising since 1997, will lose the entire BHI business, as had been widely expected.
Reckitt Benckiser won what was described as an intensely competitive auction for Boots’ over-the-counter medicines business in October, with a &£1.93bn cash bid.
The size of the offer – 22 times BHI’s &£88m operating profit – surprised analysts.
But the deal doubled the size of Reckitt’s healthcare business, which includes the Lemsip, Bonjela and Gaviscon brands.
Reckitt chief executive Bart Becht said at the time: “It’s a full price, but we are paying for a top quality business with international brands, and there are clear financial benefits.”
A Reckitt Benckiser spokeswoman declined to comment on the move, stressing that no agency reviews will take place until the deal has been given the green light.