Xcel Energy, the company that will result from the pending merger of Denver-based New Century Energies and Minneapolis-based Northern States Power Co., is consolidating its ad account at McClain Finlon Advertising. Billings are approximately $10 million, according to industry estimates.
McClain Finlon, an 80-person shop based in Denver, was the incumbent on the New Century Energies business. It picked up agency of record duties on that account in 1998. The other incumbent, Martin/Williams Advertising in Minneapolis, which has worked with Northern States Power since 1991, was also considered for the combined account.
"McClain Finlon is the strategic and creative partner we need to help launch the company and get our message across through advertising," said Beth Willis, director of corporate communications for Northern States Power. "The agency has a good track record of reaching aggressive goals for customer response and impact, and its creative is smart and fresh."
When the merger is complete, Xcel Energy will become the nation's eighth-largest utility, serving 4.5 million electric and gas customers in 12 states in the Midwest and West. The merger is expected to close within the next two months.
"We are honored to be selected as the agency of record for Xcel Energy," said Cathey McClain Finlon, chairman and CEO of McClain Finlon. "It will be an exciting challenge for our agency to launch the Xcel Energy brand."
McClain Finlon Advertising and its public relations arm, Linhart McClain Finlon Public Relations, handle clients including Johns Manville, the U.S. Potato Board, US West Dex, Sun Microsystems, Level 3 Communications, Lucent Technologies, Recreational Equipment Inc. and Red Robin International restaurants.