Powergen to focus on greener image

Powergen has poached senior Barclays marketer Paul Parmenter to be sales and marketing director for its retail business. He will oversee a relaunch that positions the brand as an environmentally friendly and family-focused energy supplier.

Parmenter, who pioneered Barclaycard's sponsorship of the FA Premiership during a five-year spell as marketing director, takes up the job in December. He will report to Powergen's retail managing director Nick Horler.

His appointment casts uncertainty on the role of Powergen marketing director John Evans, who oversaw the electricity company's expansion into gas and telecoms. Evans will report to Parmenter in the short term, but a spokeswoman said Powergen's German parent company Eon was seeking other opportunities for him within the group.

The appointment comes as Powergen launches a communications strategy that will give it a distinct positioning as an environmentally responsible utilities brand. It has been working with Interbrand to pinpoint its brand values and devise a strategy for communicating these throughout the organisation.

Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R is working on ads and idents for its ITV weather sponsorship, understood to involve TV spots featuring blue skies and acres of wind farms. They will break at the end of November,

Powergen is also working with Sonicbrand, the sound and music agency, to devise a single piece of music to be applied across all its communications, from TV ads and sponsorship to its telephone on-hold service.

Powergen already has 17 windfarms throughout the UK and Ireland. The maximum output from its renewable energy sources is still only 135 megawatts compared with around 8700 from traditional power stations. But it is committed to increasing its renewable energy capacity to 1000 megawatts by 2010.

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