NEWS: M&C Saatchi picks up Energis task

M&C Saatchi is being tipped as the agency to revive Energis, the loss- making telecommunications company that is planning a new multi-million pound advertising initiative.

M&C Saatchi is being tipped as the agency to revive Energis, the loss-

making telecommunications company that is planning a new multi-million

pound advertising initiative.



M&C Saatchi is believed to have beaten off challenges from a number of

undisclosed agencies to win the creative assignment on the National

Grid-owned business.



Media planning and buying, currently handled by John Ayling and

Associates, is still to be decided.



Industry sources say Energis is ready to double the pounds 2.5 million

adspend it put behind its last burst of press and TV ads in November

1994, which were created by Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters and featured

walking pylons.



Nick Hurrell, the M&C Saatchi joint chief executive, would not comment

on the appointment, but it is understood that the agency is already

working on advertising to make Energis a more attractive proposition for

business customers.



The Energis account has been without a home since it was dumped by

Duckworth Finn in May so that the agency could pitch for the rival

Mercury One-2-One business.



The appointment comes after a traumatic period for Energis, which has

lost more than pounds 100 million since its launch in 1994.



Its fortunes have been mirrored by its ad account, which was said to be

worth pounds 10 million a year when Duckworth Finn won it in September

1993 but was later cut dramatically.



Energis’s return to a more aggressive marketing strategy has been

sparked by the appointment of Mike Grabiner, BT’s former director of

European operations, as chief executive, and Mercury’s marketing

director, Irene Cackett, as marketing director earlier this year.



The company has had difficulty finding customers in a heavily supplied

market, and in November the National Grid admitted that its subsidiary

was not living up to expectations.



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