ASA receives 100 complaints over latest ad for British Gas

LONDON - The new animated TV ad for British Gas, which highlights the company's venture into producing the world's largest offshore wind farm, has received a deluge of complaints.

One hundred complainants voiced their concern over the "unsafe" portrayal of connecting the offshore wind farm featured to the household power supply using a standard three-pronged electrical plug.

After the ad appeared on YouTube, one viewer said: "It would mean that the three pins were 'live'. I have told the Advertising Standards Authority about it."

The animated depiction of plugging a live electrical wire and plug into a household socket was deemed to be irresponsible as it could be seen and replicated by children.

Viewers not only found the ad's visual interpretation unsafe but also misleading as it suggested that the household is powering the wind turbines rather than the other way round.

Another viewer said: "This advert is wrong, because the socket should be connected to the wind farm, and then there should be a plug attached to the house."

A spokeswoman for British Gas said: "Like lots of advertisements on TV we employ a degree of artistic license to communicate our message – for example the neighbours cycle through space, the engineer tows a planet with his van and the wind turbines sit on their own water planet.

"In the same way, the ‘wind farm planet’ being plugged into the ‘home planet’ is a metaphor for renewable energy sources powering a home.  

"And we’d like to reassure you that, as such, this was not designed to be an accurate representation of how energy is supplied direct to a house or something for viewers to try at home.

The ASA is currently assessing the complaints before a decision is made as to whether further action is required.