The Boots Company has pooled its entire pounds 80m global marketing work into WPP in a bid to achieve a more focused approach to promoting the Boots brand worldwide.
From January next year, WPP companies will handle advertising, media planning and buying, market research and brand consultancy for all Boots branded products.
The decision sees the entire UK media planning and buying business for Boots the Chemist, Boots Opticians, Halfords and Crookes Healthcare, worth pounds 60m, switch from OMD UK to MindShare.
J Walter Thompson, which handles creative for Boots the Chemist, scoops the pounds 6m Boots Opticians business from Grey Advertising and the creative task for Boots Retail International, previously handled by McCann-Erickson.
Advertising for non Boots-branded ranges, handled by St Luke's, and Boots Healthcare International, which houses the Crookes Healthcare brands, handled by McCann-Erickson, is not affected by the decision.
The agreement is understood to have been made between WPP group chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell and Steve Russell, chief executive of the Boots Company. It is believed that some senior Boots marketers were only told about the deal yesterday (October 17).
As part of the deal, Boots will also have access to other services within the WPP group of companies, including market research through Millward Brown and Research International, PR through Burson Marsteller and Hill & Knowlton and branding through Landor Associates. Hill & Knowlton chairman David MacLaren will act as strategic leader and co-ordinator of Boots' requirements across all WPP companies.