Arnold, the incumbent agency in CVS’ creative agency search, has withdrawn from the process.
In late January, Arnold advanced to a place within a relatively long list of finalists, including corporate sibling Havas Worldwide, BBDO, Grey, Ogilvy & Mather and Lowe Campbell Ewald, according to sources.
CVS' media spend last year was $115 million.
The search does not include CVS' media business, as WPP Group's Mindshare won that assignment around the same time CVS hired Arnold in 2010. Boston-based Pile + Co. is handling the current review, as it did the previous review in which Arnold prevailed.
CVS went into review after Helena Foulkes was promoted to the role of president on Jan. 1. A 20-year veteran of the Woonsocket, R.I.-based chain, Foulkes previously was its chief healthcare strategy and marketing officer, responsible for corporate strategy and enterprise marketing, government relations and communications.
Arnold said in a statement: "We have enjoyed a four year partnership with CVS, helping them develop the marketing strategy for the company's expanded direction, and we are very proud of what we have accomplished. However, we have decided not to continue in the agency review process and focus on other strategic initiatives for our company. We part with mutual respect and wish them and their new agency much success."