|Area served||United Kingdom|
Gocompare.com is a British financial services comparison website, established in Wales in 2006. It provides comparison details for vehicle, home and pet insurance, breakdown cover, utilities, financial products, etc. and was the first such site in the UK to differentiate insurance products by the level of cover provided, rather than just listing them according to their price. Since 2009 its adverts have featured a fictional Italian tenor named Gio Compario, (played by Welsh tenor Wynne Evans) which have been voted "most irritating advertisement".
The company's founder, Hayley Parsons, was awarded an OBE in January 2012.
Gocompare.com was established in November 2006 and is based in Newport, Wales. The company's founder and chief executive officer is Hayley Parsons, who worked for Admiral Insurance for 14 years, and was formerly head of business development at Confused.com.
It was the first comparison site to focus on features of insurance products rather than just listing prices, which led to the company being invited to become a member of the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA). In March 2009, Gocompare.com became the first price comparison site in the UK to compare over 100 different car insurance providers.
Gocompare.com provides a comparison service for vehicle, home and pet insurance, and breakdown cover. It also provides comparison services for travel insurance, gas and electricity, broadband, loans, credit cards, mortgages and other financial products through preferred providers such as Energylinx and Experian.
On 14 August 2012, the company launched "Covered mag", an online magazine that claims to be "unlike any other financial publication you've ever read".
In June 2009 the company launched an advertising campaign featuring a fictional Italian tenor called Gio Compario played by Wynne Evans, The advertisements feature Gio singing the 'Go Compare' tune in different places such as a coffee shop and was voted as the most irritating advertisement of both 2009 and 2010.
In direct response to this reaction, Go Compare deliberately subverted the campaign by running a series of adverts where celebrity guests such as Sue Barker, Stuart Pearce, Ray Mears, Louie Spence and Stephen Hawking lined up to "silence" the character of Gio Compario. Marketing officer Kevin Hughes said "It was risky, but a brand has to listen to its customers." Later adverts in the campaign saw Compario giving up on singing and attempt alternative yet impractical ways to promote the site, including attempting to train a dog to play a piano and launching a line of talking dolls.
The company won the 'One to Watch' category at the Fast Growth Business Awards 2008, with the judges complementing the management team for 'an extremely well-executed business with a clear USP and strong brand'. In September 2009 it achieved the Investors in People award.
The company's founder, Hayley Parsons, was winner of the 'Woman in Business' award at the South Wales Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2009. She also won the Western Mail's 'Welsh Woman in Innovation Award' in 2008, and the 'Business Leader' category in the Inspire Wales Awards 2010. The awards, which are organised by the Institute of Welsh Affairs, recognise the role that Welsh residents play in encouraging active citizenship and in promoting their communities on a local, regional, national and global scale. In January 2012, Parsons was awarded an OBE for services to the economy.
In September 2007 the company admitted that, on one occasion, an unlawful breach of privacy had taken place with regard to the passing on of data provided by customers. It said that this was the result of a breach of contract by a sub-contractor, Performance Direct, and stated that it would take immediate action to prevent it happening again.
In January 2008 the site was blacklisted for a time by Google due to "irregular inbound links". This resulted in its share of search traffic for the term "car insurance" reducing from 17.49% to 2.31%. Gocompare.com was blacklisted again in April 2009.
- Dunkley, Jamie (1 July 2012). "Go Compare founder Hayley Parsons nets £3.2m dividend". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-01-11.
- "Start-up compares well for ex-Admiral worker". Western Mail. 21 February 2007. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
- Best business brains receive their awards at celebration of local talent
- Gocompare.com welcomed into BIBA membership
- Gocompare.com now compares over 100 car insurance providers
- About Covered mag
- Gocompare creates opera singer to take on Comparethemarket’s meerkat
- The most irritating ads of 2009
- 'GoCompare' car insurance telly ad named most annoying of 2010
- Gocompare.com wins at 2008 fast growth business awards
- "Gocompare Hayley’s in a league of her own". Western Mail. 29 January 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
- "Best business brains receive their awards at celebration of local talent". Western Mail. 12 September. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
- Awards recognise active citizenship
- "Personal details at risk on comparison websites". The Times. 22 September 2007. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
- Halpern, Louis; Roy Murphy (2009). Personal Reputation Management - Making The Internet Work For You. Halpern Cowan Publishing. pp. 162–163. ISBN 978-0-9562892-0-9.
- "GoCompare Car Insurance - www.gocompare.com - Go Compare Ban?". Money News Shopping (ASAP Ventures). 23 April 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2010.