SunPower selects Ogilvy to help corporate comms

SAN JOSE, CA: SunPower, a solar power designer, manufacturer, and marketer based in San Jose, CA, named Ogilvy global AOR after a competitive pitching process.

SAN JOSE, CA: SunPower, a solar power designer, manufacturer, and marketer based in San Jose, CA, named Ogilvy its global AOR after a competitive pitching process.

The San Francisco-based account team will focus on corporate communications for the remainder of the year and has plans to develop region-specific campaigns for 2009, said Julie Blunden, VP of public policy and corporate communications at SunPower.

“We wanted to bring in a truly global agency with a tightly supported network across the world,” Blunden added. She noted that the appetite for solar is increasingly global. SunPower provides solar electric systems for homes, businesses, and power plants across the world. It has offices in 14 cities and nine countries.

Ogilvy will have 10 of its offices contributing to work for the account, said Paul Sherer, SVP and group director of the firm's West Coast corporate practice. In addition to San Francisco, support will come from Ogilvy offices in Denver; Washington; Sacramento, CA; Milan, Italy; London; and Sydney, among others. The agency is providing services from a range of its practices, including technology, crisis management, public affairs, and digital, he said.

“It's one of the reasons [SunPower] wanted to work with us,” Sherer explained.

Blunden said there was not a formal RFP, although four firms, including Ogilvy, pitched for the account. She declined to name the other three agencies, or the financial terms of the contract. However, its AOR for a year and half, Bite Communications, was not asked to repitch, Blunden said.

Ogilvy announced the win recently, although work began in late July.

UPDATE: Tony Hynes, SVP at Bite Communications in San Francisco, said that the agency was disappointed about SunPower's decision because of Bite's strong renewability practice, but did note that it could not represent the company in several markets.

"We had a productive relationship, and an enjoyable relationship," he said.

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