Wunderman Thompson has emerged as the big winner from the Centrica global integrated account review after the agency helped WPP retain the business following a mammoth six-month pitch process.
The British Gas owner has appointed a WPP cross-agency team, dubbed Team Nucleus, with Wunderman Thompson handling CRM, and The & Partnership and MediaCom, which were already incumbents on the UK business, running creative and media respectively.
Team Nucleaus is understood to have torpedoed a Publicis Group consortium in a final shot-out. Two other groups – a team from Interpublic, led by McCann Worldgroup, and another WPP one featuring Ogilvy and Wavemaker (to be fair, it was hedging its bets) – were knocked out at an earlier stage.
Ogilvy’s elimination brought the curtain down on its 12-year relationship with British Gas. Last month the agency launched its swansong campaign, which flags up the energy giant’s support for charity Carers UK.
One agency source said: “WPP must have known that Ogilvy didn’t have a hope in hell of retaining the account, otherwise why did they put them in a separate team? Obviously they were far more confident in Wunderman’s proposition to put them with MediaCom and The & Partnership.”
The Centrica account includes British Gas, Local Heroes and Hive brands in the UK, while the group owns Direct Energy in the US and Bord Gáis Energy in Ireland. Team Nucleaus staff will divide their time between local WPP locations and client offices.
A Centrica spokesperson said: “Following a thorough pitch process, we are pleased to confirm that WWP will become our new global marketing agency partner for all of Centrica’s consumer marketing.
“The new integrated model will bring together a cohesive strategy for all our global brands and ensure our marketing efforts are more effective in meeting our customer’s changing needs.”
Team Nucleus has been charged with supporting Centrica’s digital transformation, which has seen it invest heavily in data science and analytics.
It recently formed a strategic partnership with Microsoft to implement a number of Azure cloud services to ensure its 25,000 staff have the latest technology to help its 25 million customers around the globe.
And, in a recent results document, the company stated: “Across the consumer division, we are investing in the data science that underpins customer segmentation to understand our customers better and create products and services that are tailored to their needs.”
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