Comparethemarket prepares to launch meerkat merchandise

LONDON - parent company BGL looks set to expand its meerkat branding with the introduction of a range of branded merchandise including toiletries later this year. meerkat merchandise expected meerkat merchandise expected

The company has filed several trademark applications under its comparethemeerkat branding, fronted by its fictional CGI anthropomorphic character Aleksandr Orlov, from the website's ad campaigns.

The applications include cosmetics, toiletries, video games, stationery, bags and wallets, household utensils, bed linen, toys, and even a smoking jacket.

The activity suggests the comparison website is preparing to extend its meerkat strategy into a range of merchandise. It follows the introduction of the meerkat doll, made available in Harrods before Christmas 2009.

The financial services company rolled out 5,000 dolls of Aleksandr Orlov for sale in the Knightsbridge department store.

Marketing was awaiting a response from BGL at time of publication.

The star of VCCP's campaign was first unveiled at the beginning on 2009.

The company has gone on to produce podcasts featuring Orlov and David Hasselhoff, as well as a free iPhone app allowing people to play with his phrases, which launched earlier this month.

The ‘iSimples' app, created by VCCP, allows users to make Aleksandr say a selection of well-known and new phrases, such as 'Will you marry me?' and 'Your whiskers are beautiful!'