Mercury Energy has confirmed via a release that it has selected FCB as its integrated partner across media, creative, digital and direct.
In May, when StopPress first reported on the Mercury Energy pitch, it was thought that several agencies—including FCB, DDB-owned RAPP, Contagion and Chemistry Interaction—were simply vying for the energy company's direct business, but this announcement confirms that FCB's win includes both above- and below-the-line aspects.
“When we decided to put our communications business up for pitch, we weren't just looking for an agency that produced ads, we wanted a strategic partner—one that might also be used across our corporate business and other retail brands in the future," says James Munro, the general manager of retail for Mercury Energy’s parent company, Mighty River Power. “In the final stages there were three outstanding agencies involved, and we would like to thank each of them for the quality of their responses and the effort they each put into the pitch process”.
Previously, Whybin\TBWA held Mercury’s above-the-line account while Chemistry Interaction was responsible for direct marketing (StopPress understands the account was split around 80 percent below the line vs 20 percent above the line).
"Mercury Energy is moving into a new phase of their business development and have chosen a different way to resource for what they need," says Chemistry Interaction's director Joseph Silk. "We will always be thankful to Mercury for supporting us as a foundation client when we started Chemistry Interaction 18 months ago and we're very proud of the work we have done together, including the award winning Good Energy Monitor (GEM) launch. We wish the Mercury team all the best moving forward."
The official statement from Whybin also focused on Mercury's change in direction, with chief executive Todd Mcleay saying: "Mercury are moving towards a model that is underpinned by increasingly more direct marketing and as a result have decided to work with an agency that is in line with these needs."
According to Nielsen's rate card statistics, Mercury was the second biggest spender on advertising among Kiwi energy companies over the last two years.
This win will come as particularly good news for FCB, given that the agency lost the Genesis account to .99 in 2012.
"As a leader in the market and with their passion for innovation and a customer centric approach, Mercury Energy is the ideal client, says FCB's head of client services Fleur Head. “They are also our kind of people, so we look forward to creating great work together."
Winning the account was however not easy, with Head saying that the pitching process took a couple of months to complete.
"It was an intense process that really put us through our paces, but they are a great group of people who we have really enjoyed getting to know," she says. “A credentials round involving seven to eight agencies was shortlisted down to three agencies, for a strategic/creative presentation. There was then a further Q&A session that focused on data and digital credentials, prior to the final decision being made.”
Winning the account will however require FCB to increase Mercury's hold on the Kiwi market, because statistics from Nielsen show that the energy company still lags well behind Contact and Genesis in terms of its number of subscribers.