01 November 1997

THE TRADING ARM of British Gas, Centrica, hopes to shine-up its tarnished reputation with consumers by donning a new mantle as their champion. The company has hired contract publisher TPD Publishing to produce a series of 200 buying guides, covering everything from caravans to mobile phones. There will be product reviews by 'independent experts' and details of local stockists. The guides will also carry ads - generating revenues, so Centrica estimates, of up to £50m annually [thus compromising the guide’s impartiality]. The venture is due to launch next spring under the Goldfish brand with a £6.5m promotional campaign.