British Gas hands Carat £24m domestic account

Carat has won the £24m media planning and buying account for British Gas’ entire domestic products and services.

The agency triumphed after a four-way battle that pitched incumbents Carat and OMD UK against MindShare and Zenith. Nick Smith, British Gas director of marketing and strategy, oversaw the pitch.

Parent company Centrica also owns the AA, financial services brand Goldfish and telephone company One.Tel. It has indicated that while these separate media accounts might be up for pitch at a later date, there are no plans to consolidate the business. Zenith Media works on the AA account, Manning Gottlieb OMD handles the Goldfish account and All Response Media works on One.Tel.

British Gas has seen its household gas customer base shrink in recent months because of competitive pricing from rival suppliers. The company introduced price rises averaging 5.3 per cent in January.

In April, the company launched a television campaign aimed at positioning itself as a home management brand. The 60-second ad, created by BMP DDB, highlighted the full range of energy, telecoms, heating and security services and carried the strapline: “There’s no place like a British Gas home”.

Former British Airways brand senior manager Jane Bednall is to join British Gas in the newly created role of head of brands, reporting to head of marketing Andrew Mann.

British Gas has recently appointed Doug Richards, finance director of Centrica’s Goldfish business, to the new role of head of customer retention (MW last week).

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