Hit or Miss? British Gas reveals price hikes during phone-hacking statement

British Gas: price hike
British Gas: price hike

Minutes after David Cameron began his statement on the phone-hacking scandal, British Gas announced sharp price rises - and was promptly accused of trying to bury bad news. 'To release this information ... amid a media storm is a cynical move,' said Labour MP Anas Sarwar. The company was also criticised for the misleading headline on its press release: 'British Gas gives customers three clear ways to beat rising energy prices.'

HOW I SEE IT

Jason Nisse, Head of emergency relations, Fishburn Hedges

A good day to bury bad news? It doesn't exist. I fail to believe that Centrica, the owner of British Gas, purposefully chose to announce its latest hike in gas and electricity prices in the midst of a Commons debate on the News of the World hacking crisis.

That said, putting bad news out on a Friday is a bet that it won't get too much pick-up in the weekend print media. But the broadcast media were not deterred - the story featured heavily on BBC News - and social media were very active, including some sharp comments about Centrica's timing.

The company is usually good at engaging with the media, and fielded its managing director, but the tone of its press release was silly. It's your price rises we have to beat, Centrica.

On balance, a miss.

MISS

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