Swiftcover to insure musicians after Iggy Pop ad banned by watchdog

By Hadassah Nymark, campaignlive.co.uk, Wednesday, 29 April 2009 06:00AM

LONDON - A TV ad featuring the rock star Iggy Pop promoting Swiftcover's car insurance policy has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.

In the ad, the musician remarked on the fact that important documents always seem to evade him but that he doesn’t waste any more time looking for them now that he’s got "Swiftcovered".

Twelve viewers challenged the ad on the grounds that it was misleading to imply that Iggy Pop was insured by Swiftcover.

The advertiser’s website stated that its car insurance policies were not available to those working in the entertainment industry.

Axa UK said the ad intended to convey the efficiency and ease of its online car insurance service. Furthermore, Iggy Pop’s profession was not mentioned in the ad and he was merely being used as an actor to promote the benefits of its car insurance.

Clearcast, which had approved the ad, had obtained a testimonial from Iggy Pop, which read: "I confirm that my opinion of the product was gained after I had been requested by the advertiser/advertising agency to try the product."

The ASA noted the use of a well-known musician and member of the entertainment industry to promote Swiftcover’s online car insurance.

They also noted that the Swiftcover website states that it does not cover drivers who work in entertainment and that this was a common exclusion applied by most insurers.

However, Iggy Pop stated "I got it Swiftcovered. I got insurance on my insurance!" in the ad, which might misinform viewers to think the insurer did cover musicians and entertainers.

The watchdog noted that Iggy Pop did not hold a Swiftcover policy, and because he is a well-known musician some viewers may be led to believe that the policy extended to all those working in the entertainment industry.

The ad must not be broadcast again its current form.

Swiftcover.com responded by saying that "Iggy Pop will return". The insurer said that not only have the Iggy ads been a huge success, helping to push sales up by almost a third in the first quarter of 2009, but the interest shown by musicians has prompted the company to make its insurance available to musicians for the first time.

Tina Shortle, the marketing director of Swiftcover.com, said: "Iggy Pop and Swiftcover.com have made motor insurance interesting for a change, increasing awareness of Swiftcover.com and sending our sales soaring by almost a third, so we would be crazy to lose Iggy.

"However, we appreciate that some musicians were disappointed that they could not get ‘Swiftcovered’, so we are now one of the few insurers that actually insures musicians. Iggy Pop will return to continue Swiftcover.com’s campaign to help UK motorists get cheap online insurance and make it clear that now even musicians can ‘get a life!’"

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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