British Gas owner Centrica calls in TLG for corporate positioning brief

British Gas owner Centrica has called in external PR help as it seeks to reinvent itself from its traditional utility firm roots.

New vision: CEO Sam Laidlaw
New vision: CEO Sam Laidlaw

The FTSE 100 company has brought in corporate and public affairs consultancy TLG on a retained corporate positioning brief. The agency, headed by MD Malcolm Gooderham, will help drive home Centrica CEO Sam Laidlaw's new vision for the business.

Laidlaw has spoken about the urgent need for the firm to move from being simply a provider of gas and electricity, to becoming an 'energy services' firm offering a wider mix of heat, power and light products while minimising the use of fossil fuels.

In a recent interview with The Observer Laidlaw lamented the ‘misinformation' and ‘ill-informed commentary' the company is subject to you, and TLG has been charged with tackling these perceptions by building stronger relationships with consumers and opinion leaders.

TLG's MD Malcolm Gooderham said: ‘Telling their story and leveraging British Gas' agenda for the consumer is a very exciting proposition. Given their position on key issues and plans for the future, they have the potential to transform both expectations of them as a company and what utilities can deliver.'

Consumer groups have complained that recent falls in wholesale energy have not been passed on to the public and British Gas has become a cipher for these criticisms.

But in January British Gas became the first of the big six to cut its standard tariff and has launched a high-profile above the line campaign promoting its price reductions and efforts to calculate energy use more fairly.

TLG will sit alongside existing Centrica agencies Blue Rubicon and Finsbury, reporting to European corporate affairs director Barry Neville.


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