Gebbett to lead H&K team after npower account win

Harrison Cowley has been stripped of its pounds 250,000 account with utility firm npower, a part of the National Power successor company Innogy.

Harrison Cowley has been stripped of its pounds 250,000 account with utility firm npower, a part of the National Power successor company Innogy.

The agency was told last week that it had lost out in the final two-way pitch for the business against Hill & Knowlton. The complex pitch process was conducted for the client by Agency Insight MD Andrew Melsom.

The client's link with Harrison Cowley stretched back almost a decade. The Midlands Electricity Board used the agency's Birmingham office nine years ago, before being bought by National Power in 1999.

When National Power demerged into two companies last year, npower - which amounts to the domestic electricity and gas supply arms of the old National Power - continued to work with Harrison Cowley. The account there was overseen by board director Paul Kelly.

The H&K account team is led by Steve Gebbett, who has resurfaced at the agency having prematurely announced his own retirement late last year.

The industry veteran spent thirty years at Charles Barker, latterly BSMG, including a 16-year spell as MD of its consumer marketing division.

Gebbett was praised by industry figures upon his 'retirement,' for having held client relationships over many decades.

He ran the Tea Council account for 30 years.

He now takes the title senior consultant at H&K, reporting to the MD of brands marketing, Alison Eyles-Owen. He ran the pitch for the npower work, and will lead the account team.

That work includes a range of briefs overseen by David Andrew, the marketing director at npower and divisional director with responsibility for residential matters.

Gebbett said the account would include a host of product launches in the coming months as the company attempts to muscle in on the lucrative financial services and telecoms services markets it hopes its three million customers will give it access to.

The account also includes media exploitation of the company's sponsorship of TV show The Bill and its pounds 11m sponsorship of England's cricket test matches.

Innogy, which is listed in New York despite being largely a UK-based operation, is headed by executive chairman Ross Sayers. The company made sales in 2000 of more than pounds 3bn, including profits of almost pounds 600m.

The group employs almost 3,000 staff globally. Its pounds 1.8bn bid to take over Yorkshire Electricity would raise its customer base to five million.



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