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Havas Wins Lead Agency Duties for Con Edison

By Published on .

Credit: Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images
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Con Edison has named Havas New York its lead agency for creative and media, a win that comes after a number of senior executive departures from the agency and the loss of the Dos Equis account.

Havas won the account following a competitive review, which was run by Joanne Davis Consulting. The agency, which will work on data and experience design for Con Edison in addition to creative and media, expects its first creative work for the company to come out early next year. Con Edison previously worked with The Gate Worldwide.

The win is "proof positive of the caliber of the new team and the capabilities we've been investing in," said Havas New York's CEO Laura Maness, adding that the industry will "continue to hear from us."

Budget information on the account was not disclosed, but Con Edison spent about $5.6 million on measured media in the U.S. in 2016, according to Kantar Media.

In January, Andrew Benett stepped down from his role as global CEO of Havas Creative Group and Havas Worldwide, followed by the departures of New York-based global Chief Marketing Officer Matt Weiss and Global Chief Content Officer Vin Farrell. Toygar Bazarkaya, chief creative officer of the Americas and chairman of the Global Creative Council for Havas Worldwide, also left in April to become the first chief creative officer of the dedicated McDonald's agency We Are Unlimited.

Heineken USA last month moved Dos Equis from to Droga5 from Havas Worldwide, which created the brand's iconic Most Interesting Man in the World character. In response, Havas took out a full-page print ad in Ad Age's June 12 issue, saying "Adios" to Dos Equis in big bold lettering above a lengthy list of awards that the Most Interesting Man in the World campaign won since debuting in 2006.

Michael Clendenin, director of media relations for Con Edison, said Havas stood out in the review because of its creative mindset, team culture and "strong handle on technologies."

"We've got a whole new look at the energy industry going on and there's a lot of information we have to get out to our customers relating to new tools, renewables and smart meters," said Clendenin. Havas will help Con Edison figure out the best and easiest ways to communicate with consumers, with a focus on social and video, about energy decisions, Clendenin added.

One of the goals, Maness said, is to help Con Edison be viewed by consumers as more than just a utility company, so the agency will look to shape the brand narrative and show customers how it fits into their lives in meaningful ways.

Havas and Con Edison are working on the mix of channels for its new creative, but Maness said it "should cover everything you'd expect -- digital, social, TV, online."