Compare the Market withdraws meerkat ads from TV news breaks after Ukraine invasion
Compare the Market is restricting the appearance of its famous meerkats on TV screens to ensure the ads do not clash with news bulletins reporting on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The long-running ‘Compare the Meerkat’ campaign has become an advertising staple, with Aleksandr Orlov – a Russian emigre meerkat living in London – appearing on TV ad breaks since his creation by VCCP in 2009.
The spoof price comparison portal names Aleksandr as its chief exec and founder, with the family team including head of IT Sergei, ‘musickat’ Vassily and meerpup Oleg.
Aleksandr Orlov – a Russian emigre meerkat living in London – has been Compare the Market’s mascot since 2009
Heightened concern around the invasion has already brought about a clampdown from the government on oligarchs who have made Britain their home, heaping pressure on the brand to retire its mascots from public view.
Acknowledging the need to be “sensitive,” Compare the Market has admitted that it would be inappropriate to continue broadcast during news bulletins. It initially refused to suspend the campaign outright but eventually capitulated to concerns later on Monday 28 February.
The latest marketing news and insights straight to your inbox.
Get the best of The Drum by choosing from a series of great email briefings, whether that’s daily news, weekly recaps or deep dives into media or creativity.Sign up
A spokesperson explained to The Telegraph: “The meerkats are fictional characters and not associated with Russia and the current situation. But we’re looking at our marketing to make sure we’re being sensitive and it doesn’t show up in inappropriate places.”
Content created with:
Compare the Market to buy home, van, pet, bike, life or car insurance and get a whole year of Meerkat Meals & Meerkat Movies*Find out more