Utility company moots renaming all brands under the umbrella of French holding company EdF

The London Electricity (LE) Group is considering plans to axe its entire roster of utility brands, including LE, SWEB, Virgin HomeEnergy and the recently acquired Seeboard. It is believed the group may be rebranded as Electricité de France or EdF, the name of the holding company, which is owned by the French state.

Industry insiders say the move is in line with the French government’s plans to sell-off part of EdF to the public. The IPO is slated for 2004.

“The rebranding of the group as EdF will have resonance with the City in case of its Stock Exchange float,” says one insider.

Another source adds: “The rebranding programme is still at the planning stage. The company no longer needs the Virgin brand as its national brand and instead will have to come up with a new name that has resonance with consumers. The jury is still out on the use of EdF.”

Last year, Virgin Group put the LE Group under consultation about the continued use of the Virgin brand name for selling gas and electricity, following controversy over the company’s selling practices (MW August 1, 2002). Sir Richard Branson holds 25 per cent of the Virgin HomeEnergy brand.

In October, the group put together a team of people, called Project Mango, to look into consolidating all the brands under a new name (MW October 31, 2002).A spokesman for the LE Group’s retail arm says: “We are in the process of reviewing everything, but we cannot be drawn into any specific details at the moment.”

The utility company is seeking an advertising agency to handle advertising for the group.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here