The Boots Company is reviewing its public affairs account which has
been held by GJW for the past five years.
Boots’ group head of external affairs Martin Wakeling has invited seven
agencies to pitch for the account, including Westminster Strategy, Bell
Pottinger Public Affairs, Shandwick and GJW.
The agency brief encompasses all aspects of UK government relations,
from monitoring to strategic advice, for the seven companies within the
These are Boots the Chemists; Boots Opticians; motor accessory outlets
Halfords; DIY chain Do-It-All; medicine manufacturer Boots Contract
Manufacturing; Boots Healthcare International, which develops and
markets Boots’ medicines; and Boots Properties, which manages shop sites
and has interests in retail parks.
Wakeling said: ’It’s the right time to review our needs and those
agencies that may be able to meet them.’
The seven agencies invited to pitch will present to Wakeling, group
public affairs manager Peter Gibson, Boots The Chemists’ director of
communications Ian Wright and head of corporate affairs for Boots
Healthcare International Tim Rycroft, who will together decide on a
shortlist of four.
GJW, which last month admitted to allegations in the Observer newspaper
that one of its employees, Karl Milner, improperly passed confidential
Government information to a third party, will have a place on the
Wakeling identified the two main issues on Boots’ political agenda as
the Government’s abolition of GP fund-holding in favour of primary
healthcare groups and the impact this will have on the role of
pharmacists as well as the recent White Paper on integrated transport
and how it will affect access to city centres.
For the year ending last March, the Boots company recorded an operating
profit of pounds 542 million, up 7.7 per cent on the previous year and a
turnover of pounds 4,976 million, up 11.7 per cent.