Calif. Energy Group Splits Business

LOS ANGELES Independents Brainchild Creative and Fraser Communications have won the three-year, $45 million California Energy Efficiency Partnership account, the client has confirmed.

San Francisco-based Brainchild’s first work is expected to break this summer in time to stem potential power crises. The partnership runs the “Flex your power” program that encourages consumer energy conservation and communicates alerts on potential power outages.

“We looked at everything, from cost, creative and quality of work,” said client president Wally McGuire. “We decided it was best to split up the creative and media buying and planning.” McGuire said WPP Group’s Grey in Los Angeles, which had the business for the last five years, “did a great job. It’s not a statement on them.”

Grey Los Angeles was recently dissolved and the remaining personnel folded into G2 Direct and Digital Grey Worldwide in Burbank, Calif.

McGuire said Fraser in Santa Monica, Calif., impressed him with its media work on other government-funded, “behavior-change marketing” accounts such as the state’s anti-smoking and AIDS prevention advertising.

Other contenders for the CEEP account were not disclosed.

McGuire said Grey defended from the San Francisco office. Other contenders were undisclosed. The only remaining business from the former Grey L.A. is Western region BMW and Roman Meal bread. Its last CEEP campaign, conducted on radio and television, used humor to show the disadvantage of various California-specific animals at not being able to purchase energy-efficient appliances.

McGuire said he plans to use Brainchild’s pitch creative in the first campaign. He declined to enumerate the media spending because it is “still in the planning stages.” CEEP is funded by a California Public Utilities-approved charge. In the past it spent about $15 million annually on advertising, McGuire said.