Client conflict sparks East Midlands Electricity pitch

East Midlands Electricity is reviewing its 2m consumer advertising account out of TBWA GGT Simons Palmer to avoid client conflict with Centrica, the holding company for British Gas.

The conflict results from Omnicom’s recent merger of the London agencies GGT BDDP and TBWA Simons Palmer (MW May 21).

East Midlands Electricity and its Sterling Gas domestic gas brand were handled by GGT, but Simons Palmer handles the 8.6m Goldfish account (ACNielsen-MEAL) for Centrica. Goldfish is its financial services brand.

East Midlands Electricity spokeswoman Carole Dickinson says: “Following the merger of GGT and TBWA Simons Palmer, we are reviewing our consumer advertising. No other area of our marketing activity is affected.”

Maher Bird Associates will continue to handle the 3m business account and Tequila London handles all below-the-line work. MBA is part-owned, and Tequila is fully owned, by Omnicom’s TBWA Worldwide network.

PowerGen bought East Midlands Electricity from Dominion Resources for a total of 1.9bn on Monday.

This is the fourth review resulting from client conflict caused by the merger of GGT and Simons Palmer. Last week, Virgin Direct announced a review of its 15m advertising account after the merged agency won the 50m NatWest account. GGT had begun talks with the bank before the merger.

Two former Simons Palmer clients, The British Heart Foundation and Marston’s, are searching for a new agency due to conflicts with the Philip Morris cigarette business and Scottish Courage’s John Smith’s account at GGT.

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