CVS Confirms Creative Review

Follows new president at marketer

CVS Caremark confirmed today that it has launched an agency creative review, which will include current shop Arnold.

The Havas company won the account after a review in 2010, taking it over from crosstown Boston competitor Hill Holliday. CVS' media spending exceeded $115 million last year and approached $45 million in the first nine months of 2013, according to Nielsen. Those figures don't include online spending, however.

"With the changing consumer and health care landscape, we are evaluating advertising partners to encompass our entire suite of enterprise and retail needs,” a CVS representative said, in a statement. “The incumbent agency, Arnold, will receive an RFP.”

Arnold is expected to defend. The search does not include CVS' media business; WPP Group's Mindshare won that assignment around the same time CVS hired Arnold. Boston-based Pile + Co. is handling the current review, as it did the one in 2010.

An Arnold rep referred calls to CVS and Pile executives didn’t respond to inquiries. Sources said the review has just started.

As for the timing of the search, some observers point to the arrival of a new CVS president, Helena Foulkes, who is took on that role Jan. 1. A 20-year veteran of the company, Foulkes was most recently chief health care strategy and marketing officer, responsible for corporate strategy and enterprise marketing, government relations and communications. Foulkes' track record includes creation of ExtraCare, which CVS said is the industry’s largest retail loyalty program with about 70 million active cardholders.

The review follows the loss of Volvo for Arnold last month. However the agency was named the creative lead for the PUR water filtration device in late December and, in October, landed ADT's creative duties.

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