ASA condemns gas suppliers’ ads

Calortex and Eastern Natural Gas, two of the UK’s largest independent gas suppliers, have been condemned by the Advertising Standards Authority for running misleading ads in the regional press.

The ASA has told the companies that it has upheld complaints from British Gas that the ads misled consumers over the price difference between BG and the independents. The ruling will be published in the ASA report due out on November 12.

The ASA found that Calortex and Eastern had unfairly compared prices for British Gas’ standard tariff with their own cut-price gas tariffs.

A British Gas spokesman says: “We have had major concerns about some competitor advertising. Our complaint relates to misleading price comparisons. It is vital consumers’ interests are protected.”

The ruling will be published as Scotland and the North-east of England are opened to competition from independent gas suppliers. The companies have been heavily criticised for what are seen as unscrupulous doorstep selling techniques.

The regulator Ofgas is considering including a clause on doorstep selling in the gas companies’ licence conditions.

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