Band & Brown set to drive British Gas consumer push

Centrica-owned utility company British Gas has appointed Band & Brown to handle a regional consumer PR drive aimed at boosting customer numbers and promoting energy efficiency.

The agency has been taken on to drive media coverage of the 'Shave and Save' campaign on a six-figure, three-month deal.

British Gas PR manager Harriet Subramanian described the effort as 'a national campaign executed at local level'. She added: 'It's very important for us to work at a local level. A lot of our customers and potential customers predominantly read local newspapers, listen to local radio stations and watch their local TV station'. The campaign is supported by a regional ad push.

Band & Brown will work with British Gas's in-house teams across the UK, organising a mixture of shopping centre roadshows, online and guerrilla marketing work, and handling regional media relations.

According to Subramanian, the campaign will seek to demonstrate how customers can reduce their bills, playing on the Shave and Save theme with stunts highlighting how energy consumers can cut energy costs.

Band & Brown was chosen to handle the brief following a pitch against two other agencies. Subramanian said this is the first of two campaigns this year that the utility company will undertake with the agency.

Band & Brown consumer head Sarah Mole leads the account, reporting to Subramanian. Mole said the final details of the PR programme are still being finalised, adding: 'An important part of our brief will be to ensure that the PR and promotions are fully supporting British Gas sales activity in each area'.

In January, consumer magazine Which? urged British Gas customers to change suppliers in light of a second price rise in the space of ten months.

The magazine branded the former state monopoly the second most expensive supplier in the UK, but blamed customer laziness for its continued 70 per cent market share.

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