Walgreens Taps OMD to Buy Media

Walgreens ChicagoDeerfield, Illinois-based drug retailer Walgreens has selected Omnicom Group‘s OMD to handle media buying. The agency will be responsible for U.S. media-buying and planning, including multicultural, digital and mobile work. The business will be led from OMD’s Chicago office. The media review, followed a creative review last year that made OMD’s sibling agency, GSD&M in Austin, Texas, Walgreen’s creative agency of record.

Walgreen was the 78th largest advertiser in the U.S., spending a total of $489 million on advertising, in 2011, according to Ad Age’s DataCenter. According to Kantar Media, the national pharmacy and retail chain spent $291.8 million on U.S. measured media in 2012, up from $223.9 in 2011.

The agency change comes as the retailer is expanding its offerings, significantly investing in its Private Brands and adding: services at its pharmacies and clinics.

“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, Walgreen CMO and customer experience officer, in a statement. “The agency’s expertise across all media channels will help us efficiently deliver our marketing messages in both the evolving retail and healthcare markets.”



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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.