Energy giant AGL has appointed UM to handle planning and buying across its national media portfolio following a three-month competitive review, AdNews can reveal.
UM warded off competition from incumbent McCann, PHD and Mindshare for the Melbourne-based business, which has about $23 million in annual billings.
AGL is planning to shift its approach to market from mass retail to a more personalised approach. AGL general manager of product and marketing Alison Wild says UM's technology and data expertise would help it build greater customer advocacy.
"After a very competitive pitch we are delighted to appoint UM and are looking forward to working with their team to deliver a successful media buying and planning service to meet our current and future advertising needs," Wild says.
UM chief executive Fiona Johnston says she was impressed by AGL's forward-thinking approach to media and looked forward to working with the business.
"They are passionate and smart and that is the best client to work with. Over this period, they have continued to share insight and vigour for doing the best they can, which is in the sweet spot of what we desire to do at UM," Johnston says.
"I am proud of my team in Melbourne who have all worked tirelessly to ensure this success against some great competition. Gareth Nicholls, my MD, and the core team led by Adam Russell have proved what a great communications partner we are. And the best to partner with AGL into their bright future. We will continue to work tirelessly to achieve that and more."
AGL is the first major new business win since Johnston took the helm of UM Australia last October. Under her watch, UM has also retained two key clients in Lego and ING Bank. UM was also retained on a roster of media agencies to handle NSW Government media planing and buying.
The agency has also strengthened its leadership team with the promotion of Maria Grivas to chief data and technology officer.
AGL is Australia's largest generator of electricity and in August forecast a $1 billion underlying profit on the back of soaring energy prices.
AdNews revealed the energy giant launched a media review last November, several months after it underwent a corporate rebrand. AGL says it plans to end coal-fired energy production by 2050.
McCann picked up the account from Maxus in 2015. It was McCann's first foray into the media buying and planning space since taking a strategic decision to become a full-service agency.
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