Boots moves £80m creative account to Ogilvy

Formerly with independent advertising agency Mother, the move is inline Walgreens Boots Alliance decision to shift all advertising to WPP

Boots UK has moved its £80m creative account to Ogilvy, after 13 years with independent advertising agency Mother.

The move follows a decision by by Boots’ parent company, Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), to place all of its creative, media and communications business - said to be worth $600m - with Ogilvy’s parent company, WPP.

“We’re pleased to announce that as part of the new WBA partnership with WPP, Boots UK will begin working with Ogilvy as our creative agency,” said Elizabeth Fagan, WBA’s senior vice-president and managing director of Boots UK & Ireland.

However, she praised Mother’s contribution over the years, saying the company had had a “huge impact” on Boots’ business.

“I would like to personally thank our incumbent creative agency, Mother, with whom Boots and I have had a very successful and enjoyable relationship for many years,” she said.

The change is thought by media watchers to indicate a move to a more ‘horizontal’ style of marketing favoured by WBA chief executive Martin Sorrell.

WBA has not said which other agencies will work on the account but MediaCom has been tipped as media handler in the UK and US, and Grey as creative handler in the US.

Annette King, chief executive at Ogilvy & Mather Group UK, said: “This is an exciting win for us and an iconic piece of business and one that we will make the very most of.”

A dedicated group of staff dubbed ‘Team WBA’ will now handle the account, working out of central offices in New York, Chicago and London.

Mother created some of Boots’ most famous advertising campaigns, including the ‘Hear come the Girls’ series, which ran for five years. It also designed a recent health and wellbeing campaign for the company.

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