CEO uses full-page ad to give mobile number to Branson

LONDON - Dale Vince, CEO of clean energy company Ecotricity, has publicly invited Sir Richard Branson to call his mobile number with an unusual direct response press ad placed in The Guardian.

Dale Vince, a British engineer who began selling green electricity in 1996, conceived the ad on Friday with specialist ethical marketing agency Host in reaction to Branson's recent espousal of the green agenda.

On Friday, Branson launched a competition offering a £13m prize to the person who comes up with a way to remove carbon from the atmosphere, and he has made a number of public appearances with high-profile environmentalist Al Gore, the former US Vice-President.

Irked by what they call Branson's "repositioning", Vince and Host wrote a full page ad, which was placed on the back page of Saturday's Guardian.

It was headlined: "Sir Richard Branson. You're invited to my house for a carbon-free breakfast."

It went on: "Climate change is the biggest and most pressing issue of our time, a fact a lot of people are coming round to. Including you. If you really are serious about solving this problem, you should join me for breakfast."

It signs off with Vince's mobile number and Host claims that "a lot of very influential people", although not Branson, called Vince as a result.

Ecotricity builds wind turbines and supplies electricity to customers including The Body Shop and The Co-operative Bank.

Host promised that a significant marketing campaign will follow on from the ad.