British Gas ads ‘thwart’ competition threat

Independent gas suppliers are experiencing a dramatic fall in the number of customers signing up for their energy offers, according to two of the country’s biggest gas companies.

British Gas Trading marketing director Jon Kinsey says the number of consumers signing up for rival gas companies has declined by more than one third since last April. This has occurred despite the fact that free competition for gas supply has been introduced across the UK. Kinsey says: “People are signing up less, there is a real slowdown. We are encouraged; the flow has been staunched.” One BGT source says this could partly be accounted for by people going away in the summer.

Kinsey’s figures are backed up independent rival Calortex, whose newly-appointed head of marketing Matthew Eastlake says: “We have noticed that activity levels in most places have dropped dramatically. Last month we added 40,000 customers, but we had to work hard. British Gas ads have affected conversion rates.”

Eastlake says he expects activity to pick up when competition is introduced to the electricity market this autumn and companies are able to offer both gas and electricity.

Regulator Ofgas says that by this month 2,833,000 customers have signed up for BGT rivals. There are some 19 million households which use gas in the UK.

Last week, the Advertising Standards Authority found British Gas’ “123” ad campaign to be misleading, though BGT insists this was not intentional.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here