With Georgia First In Line To Deregulate, Utility Awards State Job
ATLANTA–As Georgia prepares to become the first state to deregulate its natural gas industry, Fitzgerald & Co. here has been tapped by Atlanta Gas Light to create a two-year, multimillion dollar advertising campaign to educate consumers about the coming changes in the energy marketplace.
“Soon Georgians will have something no one else in the country has when it comes to their natural gas–choice,” said Ross Willis, a client official. “We feel it is important to make every effort to educate the public on what deregulation will and will not mean for them. We chose [Fitzgerald] because we were familiar with them and are confident that they can add the creative flair we need to handle this assignment effectively.”
Campaign billings have not been finalized. The Georgia Public Service Commission, the body that governs utilities in the state, is currently determining a media budget.
The advertising assignment given to Fitzgerald & Co. is separate from the Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) business at BBDO South, which is meant to promote the client’s brand. Though other companies will be able to offer natural gas in Georgia, they will deliver it through AGL’s existing network of pipes. That is why Fitzgerald’s advertising will not mention Atlanta Gas Light by name.
“We’re the first state in the union to deregulate the natural gas business,” said agency president and chief executive officer Dave Fitzgerald. “So now consumers must choose a market of natural gas or it will be chosen for them. The intent [of the Atlanta Gas Light educational assignment] is to make them comfortable about the fact they have an opportunity to choose.”
Fitzgerald & Co. won the assignment without a competitive review, based on the impression the agency made when Atlanta Gas Light reviewed its branding business (that went to BBDO South) earlier this year.
“We got to know them very well at that time,” said Fitzgerald, “and when this assignment came up, they called.”
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