Eisner In Utility Finals

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Conectiv has chosen two finalists from a field of five agencies late last week in the review for its $5-8 million ad account, sources close to the process confirmed.
Eisner & Associates of Baltimore and Gillespie Advertising in Princeton, N.J., are in the final round after credentials presentations were held last week with the other three undisclosed shops.
Conectiv, a Wilmington, Del.-based utility, is the result of a merger between Delmarva Power of Wilmington and Atlantic Energy, headquartered in Atlantic City, N.J. Gillespie is the incumbent for Atlantic Energy.
Baltimore’s W.B. Doner, the incumbent for Delmarva, had been awarded the Conectiv business, which was in excess of $8 million, in 1996. Doner resigned the client’s telecommunications division when it was awarded the estimated $4-8 million Telegent account in March.
Conectiv, however, balked at the idea of dividing its account. In April, client advertising manager Mary Boyle told Adweek that the client wanted one agency to work on all branding aspects of the business.
The two agencies will meet with the different divisions at Conectiv before getting an assignment for final presentations, one source said. Final presentations are slated for June, and a decision is expected shortly thereafter.
Doner launched an $8 million image campaign and marketing plan last summer, positioning the mid-Atlantic utility as a neighborly service provider of diverse offerings. The agency, which has undergone a recent restructuring to focus on direct marketing efforts, developed a glowing van as a visual icon in Conectiv’s advertising.