Anticipating deregulation, a freshly merged energy company serving parts of Missouri and Illinois has selected TBWA Chiat/Day in St. Louis to make its new name known to consumers.
Ameren Corp. in St. Louis is the result of a merger between Union Electric in St. Louis and the Central Illinois Public Service Co. (CIPSCO) in Springfield, Ill. It will operate under two new names: Ameren UE in central and eastern Missouri, and Ameren CIPS in southwestern Illinois. The merger between Union Electric and CIPSCO, which was agreed in 1995 and approved last February, is expected to be completed at year's end.
TBWA C/D has served as the agency for Union Electric, while Hultz Fritz Matusczak & Associates in Peoria, Ill., was CIPSCO's prior agency.
"We assessed fully the capabilities of the two agencies" before choosing TBWA C/D for the combined account, said Patricia Barrett, a Union Electric representative.
The value of the business is estimated at $3-5 million.
TBWA C/D initially pitched an assignment for a campaign aimed at investors, as the company had intended to operate its holding companies under their existing names, said Teresa Griffin, an account director at the agency. Rodgers Townsend in St. Louis was also involved in that pitch.
The plan now is to ease in the new name to customers, while retaining Union Electric's existing tagline, "We're always there."
"They want to prove to their customers that it's still the same company," Griffin said.
Ameren, combining the words "American" and "energy," will serve 1.5 million electric and 300,000 natural gas customers. The majority of the customers are located in Missouri and were previously serviced by Union Electric.
Ameren and Union Electric will remain headquartered in St. Louis, while the CIPS division will maintain offices in Springfield, Ill.