E.On searches for agency to help brand connect with UK customers

German energy supplier holds pitches for wide-ranging comms brief in the UK.

E.On power station: Ratcliffe-on-Soar
E.On power station: Ratcliffe-on-Soar

German energy giant E.On is on the hunt for an agency to help the brand connect with UK consumers.

The gas and electricity supplier is thought to be holding pitches this week, as it prepares to hand out an overarching brand comms brief.

The firm has used The Red Consultancy for consumer comms since 2008.

Red's MD of consumer Ed Staples said the agency was declining to repitch but would remain in place until the end of 2010.

A source with knowledge of the process said E.On was looking for a consultancy to help it tailor and deliver core brand messages to a number of stakeholder groups.

The source said that the brief was primarily concerned with addressing issues facing the business, most notably environmental and sustainability issues and energy security concerns.

The effort is understood to be aimed at current customers and the wider public, with a total spend for the retained account believed to be in the region of £300-400k per year in fees.

E.On declined to comment.

E.On has long been a target of the environmental movement, with Greenpeace in particular aiming fire at the firm over its now cancelled plans to rebuild a new coal-fired power plant at Kingsnorth.

In 2008, Edelman, which held a public affairs brief with the firm, found its offices were the target of activists from Oxford Climate Action over allegations it was 'greenwashing' for its client.

E.On, however, insists it is committed to developing renewable and green energy sources and wants agency support to communicate the work it is doing in this area.

This week, the company announced it had finished the construction and connection of its newest wind farm at Haswell Moor in County Durham.


Time line

September 2010: E.On signs deal to fit solar panels on 1,000 homes

May 2010: Firm reports a seven per cent fall in first-quarter profits due to restructuring costs

April 2010: Announces the closure of call centre in Essex with loss of 600 jobs

March 2010: Reduces its gas bills for domestic customers by six per cent

October 2009: Postpones development of coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth.

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