British Gas has found itself in hot water over its recent advertising campaign. According to the Advertising Standards Authority, the power provider was guilty of "an undue appeal to fear" and a lack of truthfulness.
The decision from the industry watchdog came after it received 56 complaints about the nature of British Gas’ adverts. The list of those unhappy with the tone and content of the adverts included five of the utilities’ big rivals.
The ASA found that British Gas was misleading customers by suggesting in its ads that those who chose to switch suppliers would lose British Gas support services. One advert suggested ‘Walk away from British Gas and wave goodbye to our engineers’.
In fact, customers signed up to certain other British Gas services are still entitled to the company’s support infrastructure and therefore just switching energy suppliers does not necessarily mean those services will be lost.
The ASA upheld complaints about two TV commercials, two Press adverts and a poster. Separately, a complaint by Scottish and Southern Energy regarding an inaccurate price comparison was also upheld. However, complaints from other service bodies that British Gas was portraying them as cowboys was not accepted.