CAMPAIGNS: BG increases awareness of 'silent killer' - Public Awareness

Client: British Gas

PR Team: In-house

Campaign: Combating the silent killer

Timescale: December 2000 - April 2001

Budget: £300,000

British Gas runs an ongoing campaign to raise awareness of the risks of

carbon monoxide (CO) emissions from poorly ventilated or malfunctioning

central heating boilers and gas appliances.

After the cold winter of 2000 it launched a one-off campaign

highlighting the undetectable nature of CO - it is colourless and

odourless - and preventative measures.


To position British Gas as the 'responsible' energy and home services

supplier by demonstrating its commitment to relevant consumer and

community issues. To raise public awareness of the dangers of CO and of

measures that could prevent accidents occurring.

Strategy and Plan

The in-house team launched the campaign by gaining support from

opinion-formers such as MPs. The aim was to target the public via the

media, underpinned with promotional activity.

A two-pronged approach was taken to reach consumers and GPs using the

start of the flu season as the launch platform. Media were targeted and

Department of Health-approved information leaflets were distributed to

more than 100,000 GPs surgeries, health centres, pharmacies and


Help the Aged shops also distributed leaflets.

Extensive regional activity was undertaken, including competitions to

secure key messages.

The launch took place in December, endorsed by Dr Mark Porter. The aim

of the event, held at Liverpool Street station, was to raise awareness

of the leaflet and convey key messages.

Two six-foot aspirins were used for a photo opportunity.

Measurement and Evaluation

On launch day, broadcast coverage included Sky News and 24 radio

stations around the country.

Print coverage was achieved in more than 210 regional publications,

including placement of 30 competitions.


The campaign achieved high media exposure and received endorsement from

37 MPs, MSPs and members of the Welsh Assembly.

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