The ad watchdog is standing firm in the face of a barrage of complaints about the latest GoCompare TV campaign, featuring Gio Compario in a car crash, insisting there is nothing in the ad which warrants an investigation.
The ad, the first created by Droga5 since it was appointed in March, was launched on August 25 and features Welsh tenor Wynne Evans on the side of the road as a car screeches by during a storm. He says: “What you’re about to see is based on a true insurance claim. In this reconstruction, Margaret Mahoney is played by Gio Compario.”
The ad then switches to Gio in the car as a tree falls on the road and the car crashes over it. As Gio crawls out, seemingly unscathed, the commentary continues: “We never know what is around the corner. That’s why GoCompare now gives £250 free excess cover…for when the unexpected happens.”
Within days, the Advertising Standards Authority had received 70 complaints, with many claiming the ad is offensive, distressing and insensitive to victims and families affected by road-traffic accidents.
However, despite the number of complaints now reaching 215, the watchdog said it had “carefully assessed the complaints but do not consider there are grounds for further action”.
In a statement, it said: “We considered that the aim of the ad was to highlight that unexpected events may happen and that the character Gio Compario was a long-standing character that would be recognised by most viewers.”
The ASA insisted that the crash was reminiscent of a Hollywood movie, “with the car moving in slow motion over the tree and that the scene was not unduly graphic”.
It added: “We also noted that the driver of the car remained unharmed and was able to continue with his recognisable singing.
“Therefore, while we acknowledged the complainants’ concerns and sympathised with those who had personal experiences of car crashes, we concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause distress or serious or widespread offence to viewers.”
Last week, the ASA also rejected calls to investigate the Government’s £138m “Get Ready for Brexit” campaign, despite 94 complaints.
The watchdog argued that as October 31 has been declared by the Government as the date by which it is targeting for the UK to leave the EU with or without a withdrawal agreement, the public will consider as the official ‘leave’ date for the UK, as agreed by the EU last autumn.
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