Boots the Chemist plans to axe all its external PR consultancies, and
will expand its in-house PR department in order to handle its entire
The PR for cosmetics brands No7 and 17, vitamins, complementary
medicines and children’s clothing will move in-house from October,
leaving Boots with no retained consumer consultancies by spring 1997.
The decision affects three agencies: Stephanie Churchill, which handles
PR for children’s clothing; Cameron Choat and Partners which works on
vitamins; and Attenborough Associates, which has held the account for
top selling cosmetics brands No7 and No17 for 26 years.
The company would not discuss the fee-value of the accounts but
estimated that it will cost pounds 500,000 to manage the three accounts
Nick Attenborough, managing director of Attenborough Associates, said he
was disappointed that the consultancy’s contract with Boots would not be
renewed when it expires in March 1997. ‘It was inevitable that Boots
would eventually take all its PR in-house. It’s a cost issue - they have
more control if they keep costs in-house,’ he said.
Sheilagh Patterson, director of customer services and public relations
at Boots said the move was strategically important: ‘We consider public
relations to be a key tool by which we communicate our message to
customers. It is vital therefore that we take an integrated approach to
the strategic planning and practical implementation of all
Boots is to add seven new posts to its 24-strong in-house team, making
the Nottingham-based department bigger by a third. PR managers have
already been appointed for children’s clothes and vitamins.