1 Alliance for 2 Utilities

ATLANTA-Creative Alliance was the last agency standing after an old-fashioned Kentucky shootout with another Louisville shop, Sheehy & Associates. The winner landed the recently combined accounts of Louisville Gas & Electric (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities (KU).
Creative Alliance had been agency for LG&E, while Sheehy had been aligned with KU. When the two utilities merged last year under the umbrella LG&E Energy Holding Company, the new entity began to eliminate duplication.
The two agencies made final presentations last month.
Chip Keeling, the client’s manager of public information, said that the two agencies were the only finalists, but would not comment on the result. Creative Alliance chief executive officer Debbie Scoppechio confirmed her shop’s win through an agency representative.
Neither the agencies nor the client would divulge billings. Competitive Media Reporting showed combined spending for the two accounts in 1998 was $1.1 million, with KU totaling about $400,000 and LG&E budgeting $700,000.
Though Kentucky has not yet deregulated the energy business, Keeling said, “You have to anticipate that [we] are going to have competitors . . . [It’s] the trend.”
“The reasons we were given [for the decision] were that their strategic thinking capabilities were superior,” said Sheehy & Associates principal Bill Sheehy.
Creative Alliance, with $106 million in annual billings, is Kentucky’s largest advertising agency.
“I was told that [Creative Alliance’s] compensation proposal was similar to ours. How a 120-person agency can charge what a 35-person agency charges is beyond me,” said Sheehy. “I hope [Scoppechio] puts on a seminar . . . She works her butt off and I give her credit.”
Scoppechio did not return phone calls concerning the outcome of the review.