The agency will conduct a full consumer, trade and B2B campaign as first:utility brings its ‘smart meter’ billing to the market.
The company was founded in 1994 as first:telecom but has since branched out into energy, and will launch nationally as first:utility in 2008. It supplies electricity, gas, telephone and broadband to businesses and residential households.
‘The infrastructure’s all in place and they have been doing a soft roll-out,’ said Firefly account director Nicola Waller, who will lead a four-strong team at the London agency.
Firefly has been briefed to differentiate first:utility from the ‘big six’ energy suppliers in the UK, which include British Gas and Scottish Power.
The agency will promote first:utility’s ‘smart meters’, which allow customers to access accurate information about their energy usage in real time. Users can then make cuts to their consumption, reducing both carbon emissions and household bills. Waller and the Firefly team will target the national business and consumer press with both the financial and environmental benefits of smart metering.
While British Gas has its own smart meter initiative planned, it will take ten years to roll out to all its customers (PRWeek, 15 November). ‘first:utility cannot see the need for this delay,’ said Waller.
‘The technology is there, it is just a matter of implementing it. For these larger companies, the delay is about financial implications.’
The Firefly team will also conduct a B2B and trade campaign, raising the energy start-up’s profile with SMEs. ‘We are positioning the company as providing a real alternative to the traditional suppliers,’ said Waller.
She added that this account should help rid Firefly of its reputation as purely a tech PR agency: ‘This is a not a traditional tech account, but Firefly has been trying to dispel the myth that we are just a tech agency.’