CVS has narrowed its creative search to a relatively long list of finalists, with contenders including incumbent Arnold and corporate sibling Havas Worldwide; BBDO; Grey; Ogilvy & Mather and Lowe Campbell Ewald, sources said.
Annual spending is around $115 million on the account that went into review earlier this month after Helena Foulkes was promoted to the role of president on Jan. 1. A 20-year veteran of the Woonsocket, RI company, Foulkes was most recently chief health care strategy and marketing officer, responsible for corporate strategy and enterprise marketing, government relations and communications.
The search does not include CVS' media business; 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 one where Arnold prevailed.
CVS was the first major account win for Andrew Benett after he was named global CEO of Arnold, joining the agency from Euro RSCG, in February 2010. Benett is now the global CEO of Havas Worldwide, formerly Euro RSCG.
Pile + Co. typically asks for a lot of agency input upfront in the search process, including a video, but then goes straight to the finalists stage, sources said. CVS execs are now expected to brief the agencies at corporate headquarters.