Walgreens Boots Alliance sticks with WPP for global account
Just over five months after putting its business up for review, Walgreens Boots Alliance, the parent of Walgreens, has chosen WPP to remain its global marketing and communications agency. The drugstore giant first began working with WPP three years ago with a bespoke team called Team WBA. The holding company held off Publicis Groupe, which was a finalist, according to people familair with the matter.
The new contract runs until 2022, with an extendable option dating through 2024. Walgreens Boots Alliance ranks as the 86th largest advertiser in the U.S. with $621 million in spending last year, according to the Ad Age Datacenter.
In May, Walgreens’ Chief Marketing Officer Vineet Mehra, who joined the chain 2018 from Ancestry, noted the need for an advertising partner to help Walgreens digitally transform by leveraging its data into great personalization for consumers. Such changes are especially necessary amid evolving consumer behavior brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Mehra said the invitation to pitch for the business was extended to the holding company level.
“WBA is transforming our business across every consumer touch point – pharmacy, retail and digital – to provide a modern, differentiated customer experience,” said Stefano Pessina, executive VP, chairman and CEO of Walgreens, in a statement. Walgreens did not return a request for further comment.