Council probe forces Virgin Energy to suspend marketing

Virgin Energy has been forced to cease all marketing activities in some areas of London, following a clash with the London Borough of Enfield’s trading standards unit, which is investigating complaints of mis-selling.

The utility company, which is part of the London Electricity (LE) Group, has stopped all direct sales activity in Enfield and Edmonton, and has also had to suspend all pending contracts in those areas.

A spokesman for LE maintains that the company stopped sales in the areas well before the Enfield’s trading standards officers intervened.

A spokeswoman for Enfield council says that the investigation was triggered by a high number of consumer complaints regarding aggressive selling techniques, and that Virgin Energy withdrew direct sales activity following council intervention.

Virgin Energy, which was consolidated into LE after the group bought a 75 per cent controlling stake in Sir Richard Branson’s energy company last year (MW July 12, 2001), has 300,000 customers. LE Group, which also owns the SWEB, LE and Seeboard brands, plans to push Virgin Energy as its national brand.

The LE spokesman adds: “Over the past nine months, we have had 40 to 50 consumer complaints from the area and as a result we have sacked 14 sales agents and are now working with trading standards to prosecute them.”

Latest from Marketing Week


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


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.


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.


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 3703 or email

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