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.



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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