Walgreens has hired Weber Shandwick as its U.S. PR AOR after a competitive months-long review, according to a source familiar with the matter. 

Weber, which started work in September, is handling a wide range of traditional PR services, including media relations, crisis communications and reputation management, according to the source. A Weber Shandwick spokesperson confirmed the Interpublic Group agency has picked up the account. 

Walgreens makes up the bulk of the U.S. retail pharmacy unit of holding company Walgreens Boots Alliance, alongside Duane Reade, which is also covered by Weber under the account. Other WBA brands include Boots — which operates principally in the U.K., Thailand and Ireland — Boots Opticians and Benavides, according to the company’s website. 

WPP formerly served as WBA’s global marketing and communications AOR, but PRWeek understands the business has been split up among WBA’s brands. Walgreens confirmed it has hired Weber but declined additional comment. The rest of Walgreens’ marketing business moved to Publicis this year as the French holding company finally wrestled it away from its British rival.

A WPP representative could not be immediately reached for comment about the account move. 

WBA first brought on WPP in early 2017 in a deal worth an estimated $600 million across marketing disciplines, primarily working with agencies BCW, Ogilvy, Finsbury (now FGS Global), GCI Health and Hill & Knowlton on PR. Three years later, during COVID-19, WBA put the account up for review

After a six-month pitch process co-chaired by former WBA SVP and global chief communications officer Aaron Radelet, WPP defended the business, beating out rival Publicis Groupe. The London-based holding company’s contract ran until the end of 2022, and included an option to further extend until the end of 2024.

Radelet left WBA in May to pursue other opportunities. He was replaced by Beth Leonard, effective June 1, who joined from the EmblemHealth Family of Companies, where she was SVP and chief corporate affairs officer. 

Weber Shandwick’s appointment comes amid a difficult period for Walgreens, which is struggling to pivot away from drugstore operations to focus more on patient care, reeling from executive turnover and facing labor pressure from pharmacy staff

The retail pharmacy giant’s former CEO, Rosalind Brewer, abruptly stepped down in September. She was succeeded by Tim Wentworth, former chief executive of Express Scripts, Cigna Group’s pharmacy benefit unit. 

In October, Walgreens reported fiscal Q4 earnings that fell short of analysts’ expectations, as demand for COVID-19 vaccines and tests continued to fall in the U.S. It marked the first time in nearly a decade the company has posted a consecutive earnings miss, according to CNBC. 

The company is set to release its fiscal Q1 results on January 4. 

The Weber Shandwick Collective, including agencies like United Minds and Powell Tate, reported a revenue increase of 5% to $915 million globally and $546 in the U.S. in 2022, according to PRWeek’s 2023 Agency Business Report.

IPG’s Specialized Communications and Experiential Solutions segment, which houses TWSC as well as firms such as Golin and Current Global, registered mid- to high-single-digit growth on an organic basis in Q3.

This article originally appeared on PRWeek US.