Agencies are lining up for a multi-million pound bonanza from this
autumn’s deregulation of the electricity industry as two of Britain’s
most aggressive utilities companies trawl London for an advertising
ScottishPower, which already delivers a utility service to one in five
homes in Britain, has shortlisted Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Partners
BDDH, as well as its Edinburgh-based incumbent, the Leith Agency. All
three agencies have been briefed to come up with creative and strategy
for a corporate advertising campaign worth up to pounds 7 million.
Similarly, Eastern Electricity - which, like ScottishPower, was named in
a recent Coopers & Lybrand report as being most likely to survive
deregulation in the long term - has briefed the Incorporated Society of
British Advertisers to find an agency for a communications onslaught
later in the year.
Both companies are said to want campaigns in place by September, when
they will be free to offer electricity and other services to consumers
outside their home areas.
By far the most aggressive is likely to be the Glasgow-based
ScottishPower, which aims to be a major supplier of utilities throughout
the UK. It already delivers to five million homes in Britain, either
through domination of the electricity market in southern Scotland, or
through ownership of the North-west-based utility, Manweb. ScottishPower
also sells water and gas through its Southern Water subsidiary and is a
leading competitor to BT through its ScottishTelecom arm.
David Clark, ScottishPower’s general marketing manager, energy supply,
is spearheading the search for an agency. A decision on the corporate
campaign is expected in July, although it is unclear whether the
day-to-day advertising, currently with the Leith, will follow suit.
Eastern Electricity is owned by the Energy Group, which was bought by
the US-based Texas Utilities last month. It is thought that the new
owner is preparing to invest heavily in the company’s future as a major
utility supplier in the UK.
A spokesman denied the review, saying the company was happy with its
incum-bent, Barraclough Hall Woolston Gray.