French energy giant Engie hires new UK PR and marketing agency

Leeds-based PR and social media agency Umpf has been appointed to handle marketing and PR duties for French energy giant Engie, following a competitive pitch.

Engie employs 17,000 people in the UK and is relatively new to the market, launching its home energy and services products to consumers in May 2017. It also supplies electricity and gas to industrial and commercial customers in Britain and operates gas, coal and renewable power plants in the country.

Umpf won a pitch that was down to three agencies in the latter stages. It picks up the account from Midnight Communications, which helped Engie launch.

Umpf will support Engie’s direct-to-consumer marketing of its home energy and services delivery. This includes handling PR, social media channels, social media advertising, influencer engagement and sponsorship activation, as well as creative through Umpf’s design division, Studio.

Umpf MD Adrian Johnson told PRWeek Engie was a "significant win" for the agency, but would not disclose the fee.

"We will be doing proactive PR campaigns, as well as the day-to-day media relations, as you would expect from a consumer account," he added. "We are also looking into sponsorship activations...and we have a creative division where we develop creative assets for social media, digital and web.

"We really enjoyed getting under the skin of the brief and creating some ideas that we felt brought to life the everyday necessities of home gas and electricity supply. As the Engie name is still relatively new to UK homes, this is a great opportunity to support the in-house team in building a consumer energy brand."

Engie head of sales and marketing Simon Kendrew said the company was impressed by Umpf's creative approach to tackling the brief.

"We operate in a crowded market and we compete against both large, household name brands, as well as newer, smaller suppliers, so a fresh approach is something we’re looking for and we felt Umpf’s response to the brief delivered that," he added.

"It’s an exciting time for our home energy brand and we’re looking forward to initiating some great campaigns with Umpf as our partners."

Although Engie is a relatively new consumer brand in the UK, globally the company is well known as a pioneer of nuclear energy. It has 152,000 staff across the world and reported group revenues of €65bn (€58 bn) in its most recent fiscal year.

For Umpf, Engie represents an important win for the Yorkshire agency, which also has Dakota Deluxe, Glen Dimplex Home Appliances, Goodfella’s Pizza, Harrison Spinks, Health Education England and the NHS on its books.

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