Boots drops Tulchan as takeover looms

The beleaguered high-street chemist Boots has split with Tulchan Communications, its financial comms adviser of nearly four years, and will hold a pitch for the business.

Boots head of financial comms Donal McCabe said that following 'adult discussions', Tulchan would not be repitching for the account, which it has held since 2001.

The move comes one week after Boots CEO Richard Baker was forced to issue his third profit warning since taking the reins in 2003 and less than four weeks after McCabe told PRWeek Boots would not be reviewing Tulchan's account.

McCabe declined to comment on growing speculation that Finsbury would be appointed to the brief, saying only that Boots had not yet invited agencies to pitch.

Finsbury is seen as the frontrunner for the Boots account because of co-founder Roland Rudd's work with Boots chairman Sir Nigel Rudd (no relation) at several companies, including Pilkington where Sir Nigel is also chairman.

'We know the sorts of agencies we want to work on this and will be approaching them shortly,' McCabe said.

He added that Boots's relationship with Weber Shandwick Public Affairs was unaffected.

News of the review emerged as Boots announced it had drafted in heavyweight broker UBS Warburg to bolster the financial support provided by retained broker Merrill Lynch amid speculation of a bid for the FTSE 100 firm.

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