Centrica is to review its £50m media spend for its British
Gas, AA and Goldfish brands. The move could see all three brands
consolidated into one agency for the first time.
Centrica has initiated the review in response to changing requirements
within the group.
These new requirements reflect its purchase of the AA in 1999 and a
group restructuring last autumn that led to the creation of distinct
business units. Currently, the £30m British Gas task is handled by
OMD UK, the AA's £10m budget is overseen by Zenith Media, and the
£10m Goldfish account is run by Manning Gottlieb Media.
A panel of marketing and procurement professionals from Centrica will
oversee the review. Marketing for British Gas is headed by Nick Smith;
Clare Salmon is in charge of the AA's marketing; and Charlie Herbert
oversees the Goldfish marketing function.
Group marketing director Simon Waugh said that both roster and
non-roster agencies would be considered in the review process. He also
stressed that the review did not necessarily mean that one agency would
scoop the whole business.
"A groupwide review is something we have looked at before, but decided
against," said Waugh.
"We feel that now is the time to proceed, because of our changing needs,
to see what is available in the marketplace."
Creative tasks for Centrica's businesses are unaffected by the media
review. In December, the AA hired M&C Saatchi to move the brand away
from the 'Fourth emergency service' positioning created by HHCL and
British Gas' advertising is created by BMP DDB, while the Goldfish
creative account is held by TBWA/London. A campaign to relaunch Goldfish
and raise awareness of financial products will break in the next few
weeks (Marketing, January 24).