United Utilities has completed its public affairs review and handed the pounds 100,000 account to Luther Pendragon.
Luther was appointed after a five-way pitch against Ketchum, GPC and final stage agencies Hill & Knowlton and Weber Shandwick Worldwide. The FTSE 100 firm's incumbent, Bell Pottinger Public Affairs, was not invited to repitch.
The four-strong Luther account team will be headed by partner David Wheeldon, who led the pitch team after joining the issues management and public affairs agency last summer.
Wheeldon, the former political director at Laura Sandys Associates, counts work for Severn Trent and Hyder among his utilities credits.
His team will report to James Sheward, the head of public policy at UU, and Ian Priestner, group corporate affairs director. Both are recent hires, joining late last year (PRWeek, 17 November 2000).
The financial PR pitch widely predicted at the time of Priestner's appointment has not materialised.
Cardew & Co is still in place with no rival firms yet invited in to pitch.