Brainfood: Slogan Doctor British Gas - Doing the right thing

British Gas has had a number of slogans, some of them - 'Don't you just love being in control' - quite memorable. 'Doing the right thing' was, the firm insists, generated by its own staff, who clearly have no problems with self-esteem. But it took an advertising agency, Clemmow Hornby Inge, to extract the line from research after winning the Centrica subsidiary's account in 2003. The problem for any utility is that it's selling a commodity.

by John Morrish
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

British Gas' hydrocarbons (or, indeed, its electricity) are no different from anyone else's - hence an emphasis on its service arm, which now offers to maintain everything from drains to kitchen appliances. 'Doing the right thing', it says, is not so much a slogan as a 'strategic vision'. It's a moral claim: British Gas is better because it has a conscience. When the gasman muddies your Axminster, this may seem less plausible. Making moral claims is best left to organisations with a moral function: the police, volunteer groups and the Brownies.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Could coronavirus lead to gender equality?

Opinion: Enforced home-working and home-schooling could change the lives of working women, and the business...

Mike Ashley: Does it matter if the public hates you right now?

The Sports Direct founder’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has drawn criticism, but in the...

4 films to keep you sane during the coronavirus lockdown

Cirrus CEO Simon Hayward shares some choices to put things in perspective.

Pandemic ends public love affair with Richard Branson et al

Opinion: The larger-than-life corporate mavericks who rose to prominence in the 80s and 90s suddenly...

The Squiggly Career: How to be a chief strengths spotter

When leading remotely, it's more important than ever to make sure your people spend their...

"Blind CVs don't improve your access to talent"

Opinion: If you want to hire socially mobile go-getters, you need to know the context...