Nobody gave it a hope in hell. It was the wild card. But this week, Mother confounded the carpers by winning lead-agency status on the estimated £90 million Boots integrated account. After Anne Francke's sudden exit as Boots' director of strategic marketing and development, the smart money was on Publicis landing the business. Yet Francke's instinct about Mother's ability has now been endorsed by the Boots management. The enormity of the task of halting years of high-street underperformance by the chain only underlines the stunning victory Mother has pulled off. But you have to wonder whether WPP was wise to put J. Walter Thompson through the pain and expense of a repitch when it might have been better to have bowed to the inevitable.
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