The Walgreens Boots Alliance, a global retail and pharmacy company with 2019 sales of $ 139 billion, has renewed its relationship with WPP following a review that began in May. According to someone familiar with the matter, Publicis Groupe was a finalist on the review.
The company, which had net advertising costs of $ 585 million in fiscal 2019, selected WPP as its first global advertising partner in 2017. It will serve as the company’s global marketing and communications agency through late 2022, with the option to extend the partnership through 2024, according to WPP.
WPP said it will work with the Walgreens Boots Alliance to “implement its integrated marketing strategy for mass personalization and communications strategy for reputation management in support of the company’s strategic priorities”.
A source aware of the review said the company’s decision to stay with WPP was due to pricing and a desire to stay with its current partner during the pandemic.
“We are very proud to have entrusted such an important partnership for the Walgreens Boots Alliance and its well-known brands,” said Mark Read, CEO of WPP, in a statement. “WBA is an industry leader in using data to deliver enriched, personalized customer experiences. We look forward to working very closely with WBA on the ongoing transformation of the company. “
According to WPP, a data and technology solution that combines the first-party data set from the Walgreens Boots Alliance with the Martech functions of the holding company is the “heart” of the new partnership model. The Walgreens Boots Alliance has around 21,000 stores in more than 25 countries.
“WBA is transforming our business across all consumer segments – pharmacy, retail and digital – to deliver a modern, differentiated customer experience,” said Stefano Pessina, executive vice chairman and CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, in a statement. “We are very excited to continue our partnership with WPP to leverage their creative skills, technology and data insights and together shape the future of our business.”
Erik Oster from Adweek contributed to this article.