Hydro names agencies

After a two-month review that drew inquiries from 112 agencies across the province, Ontario Hydro has announced the names of the agencies that will handle its ad account for the next three years.Weaver Tanner & Miller Marketing Communications of Kitchener, Ont....

After a two-month review that drew inquiries from 112 agencies across the province, Ontario Hydro has announced the names of the agencies that will handle its ad account for the next three years.

Weaver Tanner & Miller Marketing Communications of Kitchener, Ont. has been awarded the utility’s corporate account, valued in the $3-million-plus range.

Weaver Tanner’s assignment is to act as a strategic council on Hydro marketing programs targetted at specific user groups.

Weaver Tanner will be responsible for managing the resulting creative projects and sourcing suppliers as required.

The agency will not be called upon to supply creative materials for the projects.

Rod Thornton, Hydro’s corporate relations adviser, says Weaver Tanner’s assignment is to be a ‘broker’ between Hydro and marketing services suppliers.

Thornton admits the assignment is unusual, but he notes ‘the diversity and scope of what we are trying to do is beyond the capability of a traditional ad agency.’

Meanwhile, the consortium of Vickers & Benson, Mariposa Communications and Public Good Social Marketing & Communications has been tapped to help Hydro salvage its battered image, both internally and externally.

While Hydro was once considered a model electrical utility, in recent years it has come under fire for a range of issues, not the least of which are its bulging payroll and mounting debt.

As well, staff morale has reached a new low as a result of recent layoffs and the threat of more layoffs to come.

Rod Thornton, Hydro’s corporate relations advisor, says the agency consortium will have a budget of between $500,000 and $1 million.

Hydro’s previous agency was Burghardt Wolowich Crunkhorn Kibble.