WPP Group’s full nelson on Boots’ £80 million global advertising business slipped yesterday with news that the retail and pharmaceuticals giant is talking with other agency networks about its Boots Healthcare International ad account.

Only last October, Boots’ consolidated its entire creative and media planning/buying business with WPP.

The current review excludes media planning/buying – currently with WPP’s MindShare – and is being conducted by Agency Assessments. It includes not only WPP agencies but other networks including Hamburg-headquartered Scholz & Friends. At the outset the review focused solely on the launch of a new over-the counter medicine but the brief has since been widened to include the entire Healthcare International range.

Insiders say the pitch has been temporarily put on ice while an extended brief is hammered out. But according to one spook, Boots is in no mood for delay and expects the successful network to have completed its creative offering by the year end.

News source: CampaignLive (UK)