McClain Finlon Advertising has emerged as the winner of the estimated $3-5 million account of New Century Energies after a four-month review.
The Denver agency defeated crosstown incumbent Thomas & Perkins and two undisclosed Houston shops. Stratecom, a management firm in Boulder, Colo., served as the consultant during the review process.
McClain Finlon will handle all advertising, marketing communications and public relations chores for the energy company. NCE is the Denver-based entity that resulted from the merger between Public Service Co. of Colorado and Southwestern Public Service Co. last year.
NCE has "exciting communication challenges ahead as they move into a deregulated environment," said Cathey McClain Finlon, the agency's chairman and owner. "As they expand through acquisitions or operating needs, our challenge will be to deal with brand advertising market by market."
McClain Finlon attributes the win to "a strong strategic focus" and its creative presentation.
Each of the finalists participated in a problem-solving exercise, which gave the selection committee a first-hand look at how the shops worked as a team and with company executives, said Cynthia Evans, NCE's managing director of corporate communications.
McCormick Advertising's Amarillo, Texas, office, which had handled Southwestern Public Service Co., will provide some regional ad support, Evans said. NCE's "Energy beyond" tagline will likely remain, she added.
NCE generates, buys, transports, and sells electricity, thermal energy and natural gas, serving more than three million retail and wholesale customers in six states