Energy provider Ovo steps up comms to challenge the 'big six'

A recently established energy provider is beefing up its comms as it looks to challenge the dominance of the 'big six'.

Ovo Energy: in talks with PR agencies                      (Rex Features)
Ovo Energy: in talks with PR agencies (Rex Features)

 

Ovo Energy has hired a head of comms and is now in talks with a number of top PR agencies as it prepares to hand out a six-figure PR and lobbying brief.

The firm was established in 2009 and claims to be the country's cheapest gas and electricity provider. As the main six energy companies plan more price hikes, newcomer Ovo is developing an aggressive comms and lobbying campaign to capitalise on the expected backlash.

A brief drawn up by Ovo and seen by PRWeek calls for agencies with expertise in media relations, lobbying, alliance-building with consumer organisations and social media.

Ovo is lobbying for Ofgem to introduce a price differential limit between energy companies' median and cheapest tariffs. The brief promises a 'substantive bonus payment' if the 'required Ofgem decision is achieved'.

The brief also calls for the chosen agency to 'ensure consumers understand the simplicity, the benefits and the need to abandon their big six energy suppliers'.

The account is said to be worth up to £250,000 a year in fees. Edelman, Hill & Knowlton and Bell Pottinger are among the agencies thought to have been shortlisted. An appointment is expected imminently.

The successful agency will start work on an initial campaign for four to six months, aimed at introducing Ovo to consumers. That campaign is expected to be followed by an ongoing retained account.

The comms strategy is being led by Roy Payne, who joined Ovo as head of comms last month.

Payne has previously headed comms for Cable & Wireless and the British Film Institute.

THE ENERGY PLAYERS

Ovo Energy is a British-owned privately backed independent supplier that launched in September 2009.

The 'big six' energy firms are British Gas, E.On Energy, EDF Energy, Npower, Scottish and Southern Energy and Scottish Power.

Labour MP John Robertson recently described the big six as 'a bloated cartel'.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

Department store John Lewis is to use its 150th anniversary this year to talk about its history, which "not enough people know about", according to director of communications Peter Cross.

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

The man who helped Barack Obama win the 2008 and 2012 US presidential elections is to work for Labour along with members of his team.

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Pay-TV giant Sky has added Fever PR to its agency line-up for a wide-ranging brief covering products and services.

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been sent home for Easter and will reconvene on Tuesday for further deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

The Home Office has tasked Munro & Forster (M&F) with supporting its campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of a wider retained brief.