There is a new name in the UK North Sea oil and gas industry after French energy giant GDF Suez changed its name to ENGIE.
The rebranding was not trumpeted loudly by the Paris-based group on this side of the Channel but a major marketing campaign is under way in key markets, particularly France and Belgium.
Engie has no specific meaning in French – websites describe it as a girl’s name, a variant of Evangeline, of Latin and Greek origin and derived for words translating as “good” and “news”.
But for many people in the UK the name is synonymous with a blue-haired boy, Engie Benjy, who enjoyed cartoon adventures some years back with his dog Jollop. The main character voices were provided by television double act Ant and Dec.
ENGIE’s new branding adopts the rising sun as its logo, which the company says symbolises a new dawn in the world of energy.
Valerie Bernis, executive vice-president in charge of communications, marketing and environmental and corporate responsibility at the firm, said: “This new name and new logo and the campaign to launch this new identity are messengers of a positive, optimistic and forward-looking vision. The name change symbolises our group’s transformation. ENGIE differentiates us in a globalised market and facilitates our customer approach, closer to the field of action.”
Gerard Mestrallet, the group’s chairman and chief executive, said the new name was “easy” and “powerful” for everyone in all cultures.
Paris and Brussels-listed ENGIE employs 152,900 people globally and achieved overall revenue of £53.5billion in 2014.