AGL to stay with UM after demerger dramas; creative undecided

AGL has opted to stick with UM Australia as its media agency partner of record, beating out competition from independent Half Dome in the final two, Mumbrella understands.

The decision comes after a pitch that involved searching for both a new media and creative agency partner. Mumbrella understands that negotiations are still ongoing on the creative side.

UM retains AGL

UM declined to comment on the move, while an AGL spokesperson said that no decision had been formalised for either the media or creative tenders.

The Australian Financial Review initially reported in May the energy provider was looking for new advertising partners, as it looked to roadmap “how it is perceived by consumers and other stakeholders in a post-coal environment”.

The planned demerger to split its busines into coal-focused Accel Energy and AGL Australia was abandoned by AGL weeks later in May, with a strategic review now being undertaken by the provider, aided by the company’s largest shareholder, Mike Cannon-Brookes.

After the plans were binned, both the chairman, Peter Botten, and CEO, Graeme Hunt resigned from the business, leaving its future strategy in limbo.

With creative incumbent CHEP not the only creative agency to pull itself from the running, its decision on the creative side remains unknown. Big Red appears to be tipped to take the account, according to sources.

Big Red has extensive retail experience, servicing supermarket giant Coles for the last decade.

With the opportunity to help shape AGL’s forward-facing approach to the energy market, there was plenty of initial interest from the market, however after its plans fell apart, largely owed to a campaign from Cannon-Brookes, interest dipped.

Cannon-Brookes, co-founder of Atlassian has been looking for AGL to fast forward its departure from the coal market by more than 10 years.

Recently, UM Australia consolidated its national leadership team, with Gareth Nicholls promoted to managing director in both Melbourne and Brisbane, while Brett Elliott was also been promoted from GM to MD of UM Canberra and Government.

The agency will be looking to defend its NBN business, with Mumbrella recently reporting it has gone to pitch. It also recently retained ING, and won the media account for Dyson, the pair totalling over $35 million in billings.

Last month, Mumbrella reported Atomic 212 retained the media account for Origin Energy, while OMD also won the media account for Australia’s largest company, BHP.

AGL’s most recent brand campaign, ‘More than Energy’ came in February last year via CHEP.

AGL is currently trading at $8.48 on the ASX as of 25 June 2022, with a market capitalisation of $5.70 billion.

This article was updated after it was published.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.