I have a policy. It’s not very specific and it’s sporadically applied, but it’s a policy. If the advertisements irritate me, I don’t buy the product.
Dettol, for example. Even if it wasn’t just an overpriced (fact) weak (fact) chloroxylenol (fact) solution, I still wouldn’t buy it because of the adverts. Fact. And isn’t that voice-over the annoying Mariella Fostrup? I don’t drink much tea, and hardly ever the black stuff, but if I did, Johnny Vegas and the “mun-keh” wouldn’t make me want to buy PG Tips. Danon seem to have a real talent for the annoying, as well as sailing close to the wind when it comes to making unjustified (and hence illegal) health claims about their food products. Who is that muppet promoting Activia, and why is her face made of plastic?
My car insurance is about to expire, and the quote for renewal is 50% higher than last year’s price. With the “excess” which they deduct from any payout increased by £150. Yes. Or no, rather. But no problem, I can go to one of those comparison sites and find a better deal. Of course, I should apply my policy when it comes to shopping for a policy: boycott the sites who have advertising that annoys.
So that would rule out annoying meerkat puppets, extraordinarily annoying opera singers, and that cockney Iranian, Omid Djalili. He’s not as funny as Shappi Khorsandi anyway. Confused didn’t even bother to hire annoying actors. They just use annoying members of the public. Shot through a webcam.
And don’t talk to me about the companies who tell us that they “aren’t on the comparison sites”. I’m a bit of a fan of Paul Whitehouse, and his ability to play several very different characters in the series of insurance ads is impressive. But kind of irritating at the same time. Merton and Fry. Words fail. Iggy — stick to the singing, OK? And that fucking smug dog, Churchill. You can’t even do car insurance for Northern Ireland. You’re a bit shit, aren’t you? “Ohhh, yes!”
OK, back to comparison sites, where the real deals are to be found. Although when you think about it, how are they paying for their television advertising? Profits, right? By getting commission on the insurance they help sell. And who pays for that? Yes, we do. Maybe that means I should use confused.com, who clearly aren’t spending much on actors, equipment, filming and editing.
In fact, I’ve just done a search on a UK advertising industry website, and all insurance aggregation sites have annoying television advertising, and all individual company motor insurance advertising is annoying too. Is there something I’m missing? Is it a legal requirement? If the advert isn’t annoying enough, will the ASA ban it?
I don’t know. Maybe I’m just going to have to bite the bullet and go visit the fecking meerkats or something.