Entertainment

Compare the Market pulls ‘simples’ meerkat adverts from TV news bulletins after Ukraine invasion


Price comparison website Compare the Market says it will not run adverts featuring its fuzzy mascot Aleksandr Orlov during news programmes amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement released earlier today the company said it wanted to be “sensitive” in its use of advertising during the crisis, which has displaced hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian people since Russian forces invaded on Thursday.

It has therefore taken the decision not to broadcast adverts featuring its Russian-accented mascot around news bulletins discussing the ongoing crisis in eastern Europe.

A spokesperson for the company told marketing magazine The Drum: “The Comparethemarket meerkats are fictional characters.



Compare the Market adverts featuring meerkats Sergei and Aleksandr have been cut
Compare the Market adverts featuring meerkats Sergei and Aleksandr have been cut

“They have no association with Russia and the current situation.

“We are continually reviewing our advertising to ensure we’re being sensitive to the current situation.”

The meerkat adverts starring computer-animated rodent Aleksandr have aired since 2009.

They originally revolved around confusion between the minute fuzzy oligarch’s fictional animal comparison website, CompareTheMeetkat.com, and the real-life price comparison service.

Since then Aleksandr and his assistant Sergei have become the company’s mascots, with promotional toys and branded offers such as Meerkat Meals and Meerkat Movies becoming part of its offering to customers.

Aleksandr’s squeaky catchphrase “simples” has even been added to a number of world-renowned English dictionaries.



Thousands of Ukrainians have left the capital city of Kyiv since Thursday
Thousands of Ukrainians have left the capital city of Kyiv since Thursday

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – made under the baseless claim of removing ‘Nazis’ from the country’s government – has sparked numerous conversations on how the country should be treated on the world stage beyond politics.

In sport, world football body FIFA is shortly expected to ban Russia from competing in international tournaments while the Scottish Football Association has said it will not entertain playing matches against any Russian side while the invasion continues.

The Formula One Russian Grand Prix in September has also been cancelled, while BP has sold its 20% stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft in protest at Vladimir Putin’s ongoing vendetta in the nation.

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