'Distressing' GoCompare ad sparks dozens of complaints

Ad watchdog will now decide on whether to launch investigation.

GoCompare: new ad re-enacts apparently real car accident
GoCompare: new ad re-enacts apparently real car accident

GoCompare.com’s new ad campaign, in which brand mascot Gio Compario features in the reconstruction of a real-life car accident, has sparked 70 complaints to the ad watchdog.

The Advertising Standards Authority today confirmed that it had received dozens of complaints claiming the spot is offensive and distressing. It will now decide on whether to launch an investigation. 

Many complainants referenced the insensitivity of the ad towards victims and families affected by road-traffic accidents.

The film, called "Tree", made its TV debut on Sunday (25 August) and showed Gio driving a car to re-enact an accident that led to a real-life car-insurance claim. 

The work, by Droga5 London, marked a dramatic change in tone for GoCompare’s advertising, which for years has depicted Gio as a wacky opera singer who unexpectedly appears to sing about the brand.

Droga5 won GoCompare’s £40m ad account in March and became the price-comparison site’s first creative agency in four years since it split with Fold7. 

A spokesman for the ASA said: "We have just received the complaints (they started coming in yesterday), so at this stage no decision has been taken on whether there are grounds for further action. We’re carefully assessing the complaints before deciding on next steps."