British Gas reviews £24m media account

British Gas is reviewing its £24m (AC Nielsen) media planning and buying account, which is split between OMD UK and Carat. This is expected to be a prelude to a review of the entire Centrica media account, which includes the £10m Automobile Association (AA) and £3m Goldfish businesses.

The review follows a recent corporate shake-up at Centrica, which resulted in British Gas and the AA working as separate business units (MW September 13, 2001).

The review of Centrica’s media arrangements will come as no surprise to the industry, which has been rife with speculation about possible consolidation of all Centrica’s agency business.

The AA brand, which includes breakdown rescue, insurance services and driving schools, uses Zenith for its media planning and buying. Manning Gottlieb Media handles the Goldfish account.

According to a spokesman for British Gas, there are no immediate plans to review the gas and electricity brand’s creative account. Creative work is handled by BMP DDB, which recently created the “Rowley Birkin QC” campaign.

British Gas’ media review will be overseen by the company’s marketing chief, Nick Smith, who joined from Alliance & Leicester in May last year. In October, Smith was given additional responsibility for British Gas Home Services and now holds overall responsibility for British Gas as its director of customer and brand management (MW October 11, 2001).

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