JWT flicks Contact’s switch

As we wrote a few weeks back, Contact Energy put the feelers out for some new agency partners and JWT New Zealand has been chosen as the company’s sole creative agency across brand, digital and retail. 

“Contact Energy is a big New Zealand brand, and we’re delighted to have the opportunity to work alongside the Contact team to enhance and build that brand for the future,” says Simon Lendrum, JWT’s managing director. ”At JWT our focus has been on overcoming consumer indifference, and the energy category has certainly suffered from this indifference historically, so we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

It’s thought the pitch mentioned a preference for a Wellington agency and while JWT has account service teams in the capital and works with Wellington-based Z Energy alongside Assignment Group, Lendrum says it doesn’t have any bricks and mortar there. But he says resources will be scaled up accordingly to work on Contact, the country’s second highest spending energy company. 

He says the agency, which recently shifted into a new office in Imperial Lane in Auckland, has a good mix of global and local clients, but all of its local clients are big local brands, like Z, PlaceMakers and Pharmacy Brands, so Contact fits into the family nicely.  

It will be working alongside Contact’s new agency Mediacom, which it already works with on Z Energy. 

Zephyr worked with Contact Energy for around four years, alongside Moore Rainger, but it did not take part in the pitch. And Contact has previously worked with MPG.

Contact Energy general manager of strategic comms and partnerships, Nicholas Robinson, says he is also excited about the partnership with JWT and the many benefits this will bring.

“Following a rigorous and lengthy pitch process JWT stood out for us with their critical thinking, outstanding creative and seasoned talent. Coupled with their great planning heritage, JWT will help strengthen Contact Energy’s presence further in the New Zealand market.”

Contact Energy is one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies providing electricity, natural gas and LPG to roughly 560,000 customers nationwide. Contact holds around 45 percent of the LPG market, is the only electricity and natural gas supplier to offer Fly Buys and, according to Nielsen, has almost doubled its ad spend from a year ago to just over $3 million.

Contact Energy was listed on the New Zealand and Australian Stock Exchanges on 11 May 1999 and has 75,000 current shareholders, so isn’t part of the Government’s mixed ownership model plan.

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