Lloyds Pharmacy has appointed Mustoe Merriman Herring Levy to create the first above-the-line national advertising campaign for its 1,300 outlets.
Mustoe is believed to have pitched against Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy and one other agency while Motive Communications, which has won the media buying account, is understood to have pitched against New PHD and Carat.
A Christmas and New Year campaign worth &£500,000 will initially be devised by Mustoe. An ad spend for next year will then be decided.
The company has not previously spent heavily on advertising. Birmingham agency Wallis Tomlinson has worked for Lloyds on a project basis, creating press campaigns.
Peter Edwards, Motive group director, says: “This is an exciting opportunity to create a high media impact for a sizeable brand which has relatively low market awareness.”
The chain is keen to be seen as “the UK’s favourite community pharmacy” and has been overhauling its image to challenge Boots’ dominant position in a crowded market.
In 1997 Europe’s largest drugs wholesaler, Gehe, bought the Lloyds Chemist chain for &£680m. Last year Gehe spent &£20m rebranding the stores as Lloyds Pharmacy.