Two shops remain in the hunt for Walgreens’ creative account, with another round of presentations expected this month.
Sources identified the finalists as GSD&M in Austin, Texas, and the Chicago office of mcgarrybowen.
Each agency has already made a presentation to Walgreens’ top marketing executives and will now present to the retailer’s executive board. Those meetings will take place either next week or the week after, according to sources.
The brand’s major media spending hovers around $200 million annually, according to Nielsen.
The finalists declined to comment, as did a representative for the Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens.
Not in play are media planning and buying (both traditional and digital), search engine marketing and optimization, and multi-cultural marketing.
The initial request for information that Walgreens distributed to interested agencies asked about experience in retail, healthcare and with Fortune 500 companies. Mcgarrybowen works on Sears and Pfizer brands such as Viagra, and GSD&M used to be lead creative agency for Walmart.
Walmart exited the Omnicom Group shop for Interpublic Group’s The Martin Agency in early 2007 after a bizarre and tumultuous review. GSD&M subsequently landed Marshalls’ creative business.
The winner in the Walgreens’ contest will succeed Omnicom’s Downtown Partners in Chicago.