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Creative Review

Npower cuts 2,400 jobs in restructure plan, but creative review goes ahead despite marketing uncertainty

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By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

March 8, 2016 | 3 min read

Npower will cut around a fifth of its workforce across the UK after losing over 350,000 customers in the past year. A spokeswoman told The Drum it is not yet known which departments – including marketing – will be affected, but that its ongoing talks with agencies over its eight-figure creative account will continue at pace.

The energy provider’s marketing team is still trying to settle following a reorganisation earlier this year. After the departure of marketing director Stephen Rowe, Andy Wiggans assumed responsibility for marketing under the wider commercial director remit at the beginning of 2016. In recent weeks, Wiggans appointed Ed Madden as head of marketing.

It is not known if further changes to the marketing function will come as part of the two-year restructure plan, announced today during the company's annual results.

Once the leader among the "big six" energy firms, it now ranks sixth, having suffered under a raft of customer complaints over billing which resulted in a £26m fine by regulators. It posted a €137m (£106m) loss last year, compared with €227m profit in 2014.

"They [the results] show a business that tried to do too much, too soon while not focusing enough on the fundamentals in a constantly changing market,” said chief executive Paul Coffey.

“This led to over complicated processes and procedures resulting in unhappy customers, too many complaints and extra costs to put things right.”

Some 2,400 jobs will be lost as a result. Npower currently employs 11,500 people in the UK, of which 6,668 are full-time posts.

The ongoing issues and fall-out from the cull will likely put more pressure on its yet-to-be-selected creative agency to reposition the energy giant among consumers.

The review began last year with four agencies still currently pitching for the brief. A spokeswoman told The Drum it is on course to make a decision by the end of March.

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