J. Walter Thompson has picked up an extra pounds 12 million worth of billings from Boots by stealing the No.7 and Boots Opticians accounts from St Luke's and Grey Advertising respectively. The wins are part of the retail giant's decision to centralise its pounds 80 million global marketing function into JWT's parent, WPP.
The news is a blow for St Luke's, which has handled the No.7 account for the past four years, producing highly regarded work for the cosmetics brand over that period. It is unclear how JWT will handle the clash presented by its existing global cosmetics client, Rimmel.
Grey has run the pounds 6.5 million Boots Opticians account since it subsumed Mellors Reay, the previous incumbent, three years ago.
JWT has also bagged the Boots Retail International creative account from the previous incumbent McCann-Erickson. However, that agency retains its Crookes Healthcare brands business.
Boots' centralisation into WPP will be effective from January next year.
Its aim is to adopt a focused approach to promoting the Boots brand as it expands overseas. WPP shops will take over advertising, media, market research, consumer PR and brand consultancy for Boots products.
The decision is a massive blow for the company's media agency, OMD UK.
Media planning and buying for Boots the Chemist, Boots Opticians, Halfords and Crookes Healthcare will move from OMD to WPP's MindShare. Paul Taylor, the chief executive of OMD UK, said: 'It is an extraordinary situation to lose business without a competitive tender and when the client is entirely satisfied with the service we are providing.'
JWT, which has worked with Boots since 1994, used its existing relationship to secure the new accounts for WPP. The agency has already created advertising for No.7: it launched the brand's suncare range this summer. Next week, its debut work for the No.7 cosmetics range will air.
Other WPP companies to benefit from the centralisation include the market researchers Millward Brown and Research International, the PR networks Burson Marsteller and Hill & Knowlton, and the branding consultancy Landor Associates.