EDF dumps MHP and picks Portland for big-money brief

Written by David Singleton on 7 July 2017 in News

The energy giant has also dropped Brunswick.

MHP Communications has been rocked by the loss of one its biggest public affairs accounts following a long-running competitive pitch.

EDF Energy has split from MHP and has also stopped using Brunswick for corporate communications.

The energy giant has now appointed Portland to handle both public affairs and corporate communications, PAN has learned.

Portland is understood to have seen off strong competition from Edelman to win the business.

When MHP's public affairs account first went out to pitch last year, it was said be worth around £50,000 a month to the agency.

In 2016, MHP signed up former energy secretary Ed Davey as a senior adviser in a bid to strengthen its energy credentials ahead of the pitch process.But Davey returned to the Commons this summer after winning back his seat of Kingston and Surbiton in the 2017 general election.

Last year, MHP lost chief executive Gavin Devine, a key player on the EDF account. He quit to take the top job at Porta Communications, owner of public affairs shop Newgate among others.

Devine was replaced as chief executive by Edelman’s Alex Bigg, who put a brave face on the account loss. He said: “MHP is very proud of our work over a number of years to support EDF Energy, particularly in helping them make the case for new nuclear energy in the UK. We wish them well for the next steps on this journey.”

EDF Energy recently used MHP in a bid to gain support from Government to back its controversial plans for a new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset. In September 2016 the Government granted approval for the construction of Hinkley Point C.

The agency has claimed it “used our detailed knowledge of parliament and local government to help put together a persuasive case for the approval of Hinkley Point C”.


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