Npower plans ambush of Eon’s FA Cup rebranding

Utility provider Powergen is understood to be rolling out its rebrand to Eon to coincide with the FA Cup Final on May 17. The rebrand, first mooted in 2005, will see the company use the strapline “Eon. Changing energy”.

Rival npower, however, is set to steal Eon’s thunder as it looks to turn the strapline on its head. It is understood to be planning a press assault with the same theme.

The RWE-owned brand’s homepage on its website features the question “changing energy?” as the brand seeks to make a play on the words in Eon’s new strapline and the search term often used by consumers as they seek to switch energy supplier online.

Powergen’s parent brand Eon sponsors the FA Cup final and in the past two weeks Powergen has run its advertising with the colour of its logo inverted from white to red in a move that a company spokesman admits is designed to “align the two brands more closely”.

He refuses to confirm or deny whether Cup Final day will see Powergen complete its rebrand to Eon or whether “changing energy” is in fact the new strapline. However it has been registered on the trademark database in the UK.

He adds: “We continue to align Powergen more closely with our parent company Eon, which is already an established brand in the UK as Eon supplies energy to the corporate business sector and is the name of our generation and distribution businesses. We are applying to trademark various straplines that may be used as part of our ongoing communications.”

The rebrand from Powergen to Eon was first mooted in late 2005 and marketing chief Paul Parmenter left the company shortly after the strategy was announced. The rebrand strategy is also understood to have caused friction between advertising agency Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, prompting Eon/Powergen to hand the £10m advertising business to TBWA/London earlier this year.

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