Debuts Ohio Awareness Campaign, Columbus, OH, an Internet-based company that provides consumers with information about utility deregulation, launched its integrated marketing program in the Columbus area last week.

The program is centered on the distribution of a 16-page Energy Values Guide, a regional magazine developed by Prosper Business Development Corp., Columbus, that is designed to increase awareness regarding customer choice and deregulation. The guide was distributed to 450,000 commercial and residential customers in Columbus beginning Oct. 4, about the time Columbia Gas of Ohio — Columbus' major natural gas utility — opened its customer base to choice. Residents received their guide in polybags at their doors, and 30,000 commercial customers received it through the mail.

The guide contains articles that teach customers what kinds of questions to ask energy companies when they plan to switch carriers and how to understand the restructuring of the electricity market, which hasn't happened yet in the Columbus area. In addition, ads from four different natural gas suppliers that sell products and services in the Columbus area appeared in the guide. The integrated promotion included 60-second radio commercials, which began last month. Participating companies also can use's Web site for marketing purposes.

The Energy Values Guide for Central Ohio is the second of the regional programs set to be launched this year by A similar campaign aimed at business customers was launched in Chicago in August, and the final program this year will be launched in November in Atlanta.

— Melissa Campanelli

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