Harrison Cowley has been stripped of its pounds 250,000 account
with utility firm npower, a part of the National Power successor company
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
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
The industry veteran spent thirty years at Charles Barker, latterly
BSMG, including a 16-year spell as MD of its consumer marketing
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
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