PPI firm claims its John Cleese ads were blocked from TV for being ‘overtly denigratory of the banks’
We Fight Any Claim claims its ads in which John Cleese calls out banks for their role in the misselling of PPI were not cleared by the ad watchdog because they denigrated bankers - the brand launched the series online, published two less insulting, but equally absurd, ads going on TV.
Clearcast rates ads for clearance for TV broadcast in the UK but the brand claims some of its creative breached the group’s rules, ’advertisements must not be harmful or offensive’, in Cleese's spots he calls out the bankers with his famous comic timing.
In one video Cleese said: “Here’s a way to make lots of money, steal it, but don’t steal it from rich people, they have lots of advisers, steal it from the little people because there are so many of them and they don’t have advisers, set up a really impressive institution and then behave as if you yourself are very impressive, then they won’t suspect you when you sell fifty billion pounds of PPI to half the adults in the UK.”
He added that “99% of bankers are giving the honest 1% a bad name”.
The series, making up the ‘crazy but true’ campaign, have been released online with We Fight Any Claim brand claiming it went and made the ads anyway, a feat which makes for an intriguing bit of PR.
Simon Chorlton, managing director at We Fight Any Claim, said: “John Cleese is the perfect man to front our campaign. He shares our passion for protecting consumers and getting them what they are due. This is startlingly evident in the candid interview footage.”
Two ads did make the air, one in which Cleese wears stockings on his head and another in which he says “I’m not a banker, or anything that rhymes with it”.
Cleese has a long history with advertising, most famously he featured in a Specsavers slot where he beat a police car with a branch.
The ads were created by content agency Beginning, Middle and End.