The Advertising Standards Authority received 11 complaints claiming the ad, which aired during the Christmas period, implied that British Gas engineers would attend call-outs and carry out repairs on the same day during the festive period.
The ad, which is part of British Gas’s animated “Your home is your world” campaign created by CHI & Partners, showed a family house on a miniature planet with the passing of day and night indicated by the sun and moon orbiting the planet.
While the sun remains in the sky, a voiceover says: “Oh, the boiler’s not working” followed by the appearance of a British Gas van and a cheer as the boiler is fixed.
The voiceover continues: Which is why you can reach us every day. Even over Christmas.”
British Gas says the ad was designed to demonstrate that its call centres were open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and were “there for [customers], even over the festive period.”
Clearcast said it did not consider viewers would take it as a “literal illustration” of how long it would take an engineer to arrive, and it was “acceptable artistic licence”.
However, the ASA ruled that the ad was misleading and said that the level of performance the ad implied could not always be achieved.
British Gas agreed not to show the ad in the same form again.