TXU Energi, the energy company recently acquired by Powergen, is taking legal advice after rival company Southern Electric ran an “offensive” ad in the regional press. The ad carries the strapline: “TXU? Germans are now in power!”
The ad, which shows a skinhead next to the headline, refers to Powergen’s German parent company Eon.
Southern Electric, the retail arm of Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) says that the ad made the point that only a few wholly British-owned utility companies, including SSE, Scottish Power and British Gas, remain in the UK.
A spokesman for TXU Energi says: “We are taking legal advice. While we believe that the ad is factually correct, we do not feel it is ethically correct.” The company says that the ad also angered war veterans, since it first appeared just two days before Remembrance Sunday.
An SSE spokeswoman says: “The ad only tried to highlight the fact that customers have a British alternative to TXU, which is now owned by Germans. I don’t accept that it is in any way offensive.”
The next burst in SSE’s campaign, created by Newcastle-based Martin Tate Redhead, launches this week.
Separately, energy watchdog Energywatch is demanding that utility companies which mis-sell contracts should face automatic compensation claims from customers of up to &£300 a person. The move follows its latest report on consumer mis-selling complaints, for June to August.
According to the report, London Electricity was the worst offender in relation to direct selling complaints.