Thursday, July 25, 2013

Why we advertise … and how it’s paid

You have heard it at the end of our radio ads:

“….paid for by the stockholders of Wisconsin Energy Corporation.”

But exactly what does that mean? Who pays for it? Why do we advertise?

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) limits what type of advertising expenses we can recover in customer rates. Typically, the PSCW allows us to recover advertising costs related to safety, conservation, renewable energy and required legal notices. The costs of other types of advertising may not be recovered in rates and is paid for out of company profits – “by the stockholders.”

In 2012, about 60 percent of our advertising expenses were funded by Wisconsin Energy Corporation stockholders, with most of our advertising focused on customer service and safety.

“The content of our advertising is based on feedback from residential and commercial customers, as well as legal requirements,” said Rick White, vice president – corporate communications. “While we do relatively little advertising, we’ve found that paid advertising is a very cost-effective way to share information about a variety of topics.”

Additional facts about our advertising:

Why we advertise
Although your location determines which utility provides your energy, you may not be aware of the services we offer. We also want to keep you safe around our equipment. On a cost-per-thousand basis, radio advertising is one of the more cost-effective ways to inform you and the rest of our customers about energy costs, money-saving tips, energy assistance, budget and paper-free billing options, and energy efficiency programs.

How much advertising costs
Most of our advertising and sponsorship expenses are not part of your rates. Costs that were recovered in rates were less than a penny per customer per month in 2012. That’s about 12 cents per customer per year. The remaining advertising costs were paid for by Wisconsin Energy stockholders.

How sponsorship ads work 
We sponsor events and activities to strengthen the communities we serve. Sometimes, advertising opportunities come with those sponsorships at no additional cost, and we use those opportunities to provide information about our programs and services. The point of sponsorships is not the advertising, though. We provide sponsorships to be a good corporate citizen in the places we call home. Many sponsorships are through the Wisconsin Energy Foundation, which is funded by stockholders, not customers.


Jeff said...

Your nose must have been growing longer and longer as you wrote this article. What a bunch of lies. If "stockholders" are comfortable with the lower returns, then they should be just as comfortable with using the advertising costs to reduce customer rates rather than increasing their returns. When you operate in a monopoly you should have no right to waste our money with your garbage advertisements and your nonsensical promotions. A We Energies cook book, are you kidding me?

We Energies said...

Thanks for your comment. Although we don't use advertising extensively, we find it effective for helping our customers use energy safely and efficiently. We also use it to increase awareness of our service offerings. As for the Cookie Book, we minimize costs by using internal resources, and the production costs do not impact customer rates.