The supermarket is believed to have invited MediaCom to pitch over WPP sibling Maxus, while OMD is believed to have been prevented from pursuing the business by Boots' exacting executive marketing director, Elizabeth Fagan.
The Tesco business currently handled by Initiative is complex and far reaching, involving multiple data sources, analytics and econometrics across the retailer’s vast business in addition to traditional media plannig and buying, as well as substantial media activity in Ireland.
Last year, the supermarket’s billings totalled £87 million, according to Nielsen data, and Initiative is also responsible for the €15 million of spend in Ireland.
Tesco continues to refuse to make a statement about the review process, opting to neither confirm or deny that a review of its multimillion pound media account is even in play.
The review of who handles and advises the millions of pounds Tesco spends each year on advertising follows the arrival of Dave Lewis as chief executive in September 2014. In January, Tesco moved its creative account out of Wieden & Kennedy and into Bartle Bogle Hegarty without a pitch.
Initiative, MediaCom, OMD and ZenithOptimedia all declined to comment.