MediaCom strikes lucky in Boots exodus to WPP

What does it feel like when a big account drops into your lap after a holding company deal? Better than one falling out of course but WPP’s MediaCom must have slightly mixed feelings about landing the Boots media business nine years after it departed for Omnicom’s OMD.

Walgreens Boots Alliance has shifted all its work into WPP, supposedly following a discussion at that movers-and-shakers’ wintry paradise Davos. Part of the deal involved substantial cost savings, which may also be on MediaCom’s mind. But MediaCom, still the UK’s biggest media agency is licking its wounds after losing £2bn VW worldwide to Omnicom’s PHD so Boots (globally one presumes) will be more than welcome.

Long-time Boots creative agency Mother lost the business to WPP’s Ogilvy despite one of the best creative showings in the retail market (swan song campaign below). Ogilvy also recently picked up Vodafone from Y&R sibling Grey in a closed WPP pitch.

So the new regime at Ogilvy UK, headed by ex-BBH executive Charlie Rudd, has won over £100m of creative business without, one suspects, having to do much.

But it’s much better to receive than give in these circumstances and Charlie seems to be the current WPP poster boy.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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