Creaxion, Cookerly Split Atlanta Utility’s Duties

Atlanta Gas Light Company has divided its marketing and public relations accounts at Creaxion and Cookerly Public Relations, respectively. Billings are estimated at $3-4 million.

The Atlanta-based utility selected the local shops over area rivals including BaylessCronin, Fletcher Martin Ewing, The Morrison Agency, Ivory, BKV and Sawyer Riley Compton. Eric Mower and Associates of Syracuse, N.Y., also contended.

“They’re the right fit for us in our efforts to create business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets,” said client representative Lisa Dudley, who cited both agencies’ experience with deregulated utilities as reasons for their selection.

“I think what sold them on us was our grasp of b-to-b and customer retention,” said Carol Cookerly, president of Cookerly. Her public relations firm handles the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Clean Air Campaign here and the Utilities Protection Center.

Creaxion chief executive officer and founder Mark Pettit managed product public relations and Internet data for MCI Worldcom.

“People like gas because its environmentally friendly and easy to use,” said Pettit. “But they hate the confusion of the marketplace; you have to restore confidence in the client.”

At first, advertising will promote the benefits of natural gas to the construction trade, said Pettit. Consumer marketing will follow.

“Our goal is to clarify, simplify and amplify AGL’s message,” said Pettit. “It’s going to be a very clean campaign.”

Initial work, scheduled to break in the third quarter, will include print, outdoor and some television.

Atlanta’s natural gas marketplace was deregulated in 1999. Eight independent marketers currently serve the area’s 1.5 million users with gas provided by century-old AGL.