Walgreens chooses OMD after review


OMD / Optimum Media DirectionWalgreens has selected Omnicom Group’s OMD as its new media planning and buying AOR after a creative review last year that made OMD’s sibling agency, GSD&M in Austin, Walgreens’ creative AOR.

The review ends a decade-long relationship with Publicis Groupe’s Starcom. Starcom attempted to defend the business, while Interpublic’s Initiative was also a part of the final round of the review, said Ad Age.

In January, a spokeswoman said in a statement that newspaper circulars would not be included in the review, but TV, radio, print, out-of-home and digital media would all be under scrutiny. At the time, the spokeswoman also said, “We’ve had a very good relationship with Starcom, which is why we want them to participate in the review.”

OMD will be responsible for U.S. and Puerto Rico activity related to traditional, multicultural, digital and mobile media planning and buying. The business will be led from OMD’s Chicago office.

“To support our vision of becoming the first choice for health and daily living, we are pleased to select OMD to manage Walgreens key media channels and look forward to working with them,” said Graham Atkinson, Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer, Walgreens. “The agency’s expertise across all media channels will help us efficiently deliver our marketing messages in both the evolving retail and healthcare markets.”

“We couldn’t be more excited about our new relationship with Walgreens. From the first day it just felt right,” said Alan Cohen, CEO, OMD USA.

The first work from OMD is expected to occur in the spring of 2013. Walgreens is the nation’s largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2012 sales of $72 billion.