Walgreens Boots Alliance Is Reviewing Its Global Advertising Account

WPP, which has handled the account since 2017, is defending in the process

Walgreens logo
Walgreens has worked with WPP since 2017. Walgreens

Pharmaceutical retail giant Walgreens is reviewing its global advertising account.

Walgreens Boots Alliance confirmed the global creative and media review across all of its brands, which also include Alliance Healthcare, Boots and Duane Reade.

The review follows the conclusion of the company’s three-year contract with WPP.

Incumbent WPP is defending in the review process, which is being handled by MediaLink, according to sources with direct knowledge of the review. WPP deferred to the client for comment.

Discussions around the review dated back to before the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and other major holding companies are also participating in the process, with the exception of IPG, which works with competitor CVS, according to a source with direct knowledge of the process. CVS Health consolidated the majority of its U.S. media account with IPG Mediabrands’ UM last year.

Walgreens selected WPP as its global creative and media agency partner in early 2017, with WPP servicing the account via a custom unit called Team WBA. Last year, WPP moved U.S. creative duties on Walgreens from Grey to Ogilvy and VMLY&R Chicago.

Walgreens Boots Alliance spends about $280 million on media in the U.S. each year, including $182 million on the flagship Walgreens brand, according to COMvergence.

@ErikDOster erik.oster@adweek.com Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.