Centrica seeks shop for financial account

Centrica, the new owner of the AA, is to launch a financial product and has seen presentations from agencies with a view to handling the advertising.

Centrica, the new owner of the AA, is to launch a financial product

and has seen presentations from agencies with a view to handling the

advertising.



A shortlist of two agencies - thought to be the advertising agency, HHCL

& Partners and the direct marketing agency, Evans Hunt Scott - has been

drawn up following an initial round of presentations. Both have existing

relationships with the client, HHCL through its long tenure on the AA

advertising account, and EHS having worked for the services division of

British Gas, owned by Centrica.



A third agency, said to be BMP DDB’s direct marketing offshoot, Jones

Mason Barton Antenen (now merged with Claydon Heeley), also pitched for

the task.



The budget is rumoured to be in the range of pounds 5 million during the

launch period, settling down to an annual spend of around one-and-a-half

times that. The new product will sit in the motor finance division of

the company.



Cathy Billett, the former brand communications manager for the AA who

now has total responsibility for the brand, denied that agencies were

being seen for specific projects. She added: ’There are lots of

opportunities down the line. We have seen reviews of business plans, but

it is very early to be talking about pitches.’



HHCL has picked up several awards for its development of the AA’s

’fourth emergency service’ strapline.



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