Who said a pandemic couldn’t jump start an agency review here or there?


Steve’s breakdown: Walgreens Boots Alliance is seeking global marcomms agency support. The review is part of a broader digital transformation at the company. (whatever that means)

I guess the main thing here is if your agency is part of one of the giant networks, give headquarters a call to see how you can participate.

And here’s the leadership team at the client:

DEERFIELD, IL: Walgreens Boots Alliance has started a global RFP process to find a marketing and communications agency partner.

“This is part of a broader digital transformation that our business is undergoing as consumer behavior and needs are changing rapidly, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic,” a spokesperson for the company said via email.

A Walgreens Boots Alliance representative was not immediately available for further comment.

In early 2017, Walgreens Boots Alliance named WPP to handle marketing, communications and creative for its global retail and wholesale business in a deal estimated to be worth $600 million. WPP was to create hub offices in Chicago, London and New York to support Walgreens in the U.S., Boots in the U.K. and the Alliance Healthcare Business.

Finsbury, Ogilvy and Burson-Marsteller, since merged with fellow WPP shop Cohn & Wolfe into BCW, were selected to handle PR as part of the account at the time.

In January, Walgreens Boots Alliance group VP Gulden Mesara-Dogan exited the company.

Walgreens Boots Alliance hired Hilton Worldwide global communications leader Aaron Radelet as SVP and global chief communications officer last July. Chuck Greener moved from the role of SVP of global comms and corporate affairs to the newly created role of SVP and global chief public affairs officer.

Walgreens Boots Alliance includes the eponymous U.S.- and Europe-based pharmacy chains, Walgreens and Boots, as well as pharma wholesale company Alliance Healthcare. Deerfield, Illinois-based Walgreens acquired a 45% ownership stake in Alliance Boots in 2012. Two years later, Walgreens bought the 55% it didn’t own.

For the first six months of Walgreens Boots Alliance’s fiscal 2020, which ended on February 29, the company’s net earnings dropped 21.4% to $1.8 billion compared with the same period of a year ago. Sales increased 3.7% to $35.8 billion.

The company said that it was on track to maintain its guidance for its fiscal year before COVID-19 and that its fiscal Q2 performance beat company expectations, but added that it was “not in a position to accurately forecast future impacts.”

“During these unprecedented times of global uncertainty, Walgreens Boots Alliance is on the front lines of combating the COVID-19 pandemic,” said executive vice chairman and CEO Steano Pessina in the company’s earnings statement. “Our number one priority is to continue to provide essential services, products and information at this critical moment of need, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to our customers and patients, and to our people.”

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