Shandwick wins Anglian Water PR

Anglian Water, geographically the UK’s largest water company, has appointed Shandwick on a wide-ranging brief to improve its reputation with the City, politicians and other opinion-formers.

Anglian Water, geographically the UK’s largest water company, has

appointed Shandwick on a wide-ranging brief to improve its reputation

with the City, politicians and other opinion-formers.



Anglian is perceived as an unattractive proposition in the City because,

unlike Thames Water and Severn Trent, it has not successfully branched

out beyond its core disciplines of water and sewage. The company may

thus suffer more than its rivals from Ofwat water rate cuts.



Ofwat is currently formalising its review which has imposed cuts in

water rates. Once formalised, it is predicted price cuts will lead to an

increase in merger and acquisition activity in the water sector. Anglian

has in the past been linked in the financial press with German utility

RWE.



In the last financial year, Anglian’s profits have fallen from pounds

267.8 million to pounds 258 million. When it announced its financial

results in May, the company stated that it wanted to expand its

non-regulated businesses until they made up about one-tenth of its

earnings.



Shandwick was appointed to the six-month external communications

campaign, which carries six-figure fees, after pitching against Citigate

Dewe Rogerson, Gavin Anderson and The Hogarth Partnership.



The account is headed by Tessa Curtis, managing director of the agency’s

broadcast division. The brief includes a business television

element.



Neither Anglian nor Shandwick were willing to comment as PR Week went to

press.



Anglian was created by the Water Industry Act of 1989, which turned

Government control of the water and sewage infrastructure in England and

Wales over to ten private companies.



- Smithfield Financial has been hired by US-company Azurix, which last

year acquired the franchise for the Wessex water region. Azurix is an

offshoot of US energy group Enron Corporation and has a separate New

York listing. The Wessex franchise is Bristol-based and covers Somerset

as well as parts of Dorset, Devon, Hampshire and Wiltshire.



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