Centrica moots £17m AA review

Centrica, the retail supplier of British Gas, has said it will not rule out an agency review of the £17m Automobile Association advertising account after bidding for the car break down recovery club.

The AA, which prides itself on being the fourth emergency service, advertises through HHCL and Partners. Centrica’s marketing director Simon Waugh, says: “There are no plans to review at this time. The “fourth emergency service” ads have been effective. But over the next 12 to 18 months we will look at how we stand.”

Centrica is proposing to fork out £1.1bn to add AA to its British Gas service and Goldfish credit card brands.

The AA’s media strategy is handled by Michaelides & Bednash. The £12.6m media planning and buying account handled by Zenith Media.

The creative account for Centrica’s British Gas service is held by BMP.DDB with media buying through BMP.OMD. TBWA GGT Simons Palmer handles creative work for the Goldfish credit card, while Manning Gottlieb Media handles buying.

Waugh admits pooling media buying across Centrica’s brands may be a possibility.

AA group marketing director Bob Sinclair says: “We are happy with HHCL. Of course, there will be discussions with Centrica about all the agencies we work with. If they have a different view, we will review.”

About 4.6 million AA customers will benefit from the buy-out with a £240-plus cash windfall. The deal has yet to be approved by two-thirds of AA members. A result is expected in September.

see “Business”

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