Go Compare ad 'could encourage children to swallow coins'

Go Compare has been rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority for inappropriate scheduling of an ad that risked encouraging children to swallow money.

The spot, created in-house and shown last December, featured a monster eating banknotes from a woman’s wallet. The monster was revealed to be a personification of her insurance bill.

At the end of the ad, opera-singing mascot Gio Compario appears to save the day.

The ASA received one complaint from a member of the public who said their four-year-old child had swallowed coins after watching the ad.

Responding to the ASA, Clearcast pointed out that the monster was shown eating banknotes and not coins – which, while not to be recommended, would not cause equivalent harm.

But the ASA ruled that while the ad was suitable for older children, it was not suitable for younger children, and should not be shown before 7.30pm.