5 July 2012 - 10:49am | posted by | 12 comments

New Go Compare ad receives 43 complaints for being ‘offensive’

Offensive? Sue Barker targets Gio ComparioOffensive? Sue Barker targets Gio Compario

The latest Go Compare ad, in which opera singer Gio Compario is targeted by a bazooka by BBC Sports presenter Sue Barker has come under fire for being aggressive.

Despite the fact that the opera singer is seen crawling out the crater at the end of the ad, ready to sing again, the Advertising Standards Authority has received 43 complaints, The Sun has revealed.

The ad, by Dare, was launched at the same time as it was revealed that anti-aircraft missiles have been placed at six sites around London to combat terrorist attacks during the Olympics

The ASA said: “We have received a total of 43 complaints so far. Some people think it offensive especially at a time when children are watching. Others think it inappropriate when our security forces are coming under fire on a daily basis.

“As with all complaints we are looking into the matter before deciding if we launch a full investigation.”

However, the assassination bid has been cheered by some, who think the ad is right to make a joke about how Gio Compario is annoying to most, having won several ‘most irritating ad’ accolades.

Nick Hall, Go Compare’s marketing director, had said of the new ad: "We know a lot of people find the character irritating and this is us saying 'we get it'”.

The new print ads for Go Compare have also come under criticism from the Samaritans, after one suggested that the character jump off a cliff, with complaints that it trivialises suicide.

UPDATED: Go Compare's press office has revealed that it has not been contacted by the ASA regarding the complains. As such, the company cannot comment at the moment.

What do you think? Is the ad too violent, or is it tongue-in-cheek and been taken too seriously?


5 Jul 2012 - 11:35
Patrick C. Kavanagh's picture


9 Jul 2012 - 16:57
catcs13116's picture

Good grief. Lighten up. Or get rid of all comedy. For good. Then everyone will be happy.

10 Jul 2012 - 22:59
steph13719's picture

We seem to be losing all sense of perspective. IT'S NOT REAL!! That said we refer to rubbish like big brother as 'reality' tv. If you don't approve there are alternative channels or the off switch.

11 Jul 2012 - 13:27
Spottswoode's picture

Right too ASA. We don't want kids going out buying recoilless rocket-propelled charge launchers and taking out irritating C-list celebrities. Our whole infrastructure would crumble.

14 Jul 2012 - 22:44
pharo12545's picture

Jeez, this is ridiculous, so 43 complaints is enough to trigger that reaction. surely it should be based on a percentage of air time and average viewing figures over a period of time as I'm guessing 43 is a very low number indeed.

Stupid ASA, live in the real world please!

15 Jul 2012 - 19:02
zerop19321's picture

I hope the number is that low becuase there are quite a few adverts I'd like to get off the air. I might start a facebook campaign for people to help eliminate the most annoying of adverts.

Maybe start a voting system so we all know what one to do next!

15 Jul 2012 - 23:14
pharo12545's picture

I second the facebook page as I have a few in my list that I would like to get rid of!

16 Jul 2012 - 14:12
infot21085's picture

Ah The Sun, paragon of balanced, informative reporting that covers the issues that really matter... oh... wait...

16 Jul 2012 - 14:38
david13274's picture

I think it's fairly safe to say that the advertising agency knew using a shoulder mounted rocket launcher would court controversy - indeed, I'm convinced this was their intention - as the wild success of the Irn Bru advertising campaigns have repeatedly proved, no publicity is bad publicity...

19 Jul 2012 - 13:33
jmell15507's picture

I think people need to relax, the people who complain more than likely have nothing in their lives and this gives them a little bit of power. I think the ads are very bold by the company to show they agree that the guy is annoying but that's their hook. Very good idea. As for the samaritans saying that it trivialises suicide . . . there is no way anyone would purposefully do that, therefore its the samaritans who are bringing this to light. Its a giggle, that's how it was intended, that's how it should be seen. If you looked deep enough you could complain about EVERYTHING. In a country where we aren't even allowed to fly our flags at events for fear of offending. I think its time we did what we wanted (within reason) and if it offends . . . it offends. Tough!!!

20 Jul 2012 - 10:14
0908112550's picture

I think it's a pretty tasteless advert given what our armed forces are facing each day. In an action movie you expect it so you can avoid it if you need to but on daytime TV it pops out of nowhere and left me feeling a bit unsettled.

It's cheap, tasteless humour, potentially traumatic for some people and certainly does not inspire me to look up 'go compare'. A waste of advertising fees in my opinion and a reflection of how unimaginative the marketing and advertising staff of the company are.

Epic fail and they should scrap it before they do more damage to their own reputation.

21 Jul 2012 - 12:53
steve82134's picture

It isn't so much that it is done with a humourous intent. it's that it condones the use of violence to achieve it's goal, you would have got a better and less offensive effect if you had the people he was singing too, do something to annoy him like give him a wedgie, or ping his braces, like in the old silent movies or even better give the victims a remote to mute him. Much funnier.


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