Mears leaves Freud for British Gas post

Energy giant Centrica has snatched ex-Britvic head of media Julian Mears just three months after his high-profile switch to agency Freud Communications (PRWeek, 3 August).

Mears starts next week as media relations manager for Centrica subsidiary British Gas, where he will be part of a five-strong team. He will report to British Gas head of media relations Alan McLaughlin.

Mears, who was included in PRWeek’s 29 under 29’ list of young practitioners to watch last year, joined Freud in August just as the agency won Asda’s £3m food and non-food consumer account (PRWeek, 3 August).

In his new role, Mears will promote British Gas’ green credentials and efficiency record.

‘We have the lowest carbon footprint of all UK energy suppliers. We want Julian to get that message out,’ said McLaughlin.

Mears will manage British Gas’ recently launched ‘Green Streets’ campaign, which aims to make households more energy-efficient.

Mears will also be involved in rolling out the ‘Smart Meters’ project, a nationwide initiative that will see ‘real-time meters’ installed in every customer’s home over the next ten years. The meters will show how much electricity, which British Gas also supplies, is being used at any given moment.

McLaughlin said Mears’ blend of corporate and consumer experience gained at Britvic made him an ideal candidate for the role, citing in particular his involvement in the activity around the soft drinks firm’s flotation.

‘It was a no-brainer,’ Mears said of his appointment. ‘It’s not every day you get an offer like that, and it’s one of those jobs you’d walk across broken glass for.’

Freud would not comment on Mears’ departure.

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