Gocompare.com

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Gocompare.com Limited
Trading name Gocompare.com
Type Limited company
Industry Price comparison
Founded 2006
Founder(s) Hayley Parsons
Headquarters Newport, Wales
Area served United Kingdom
Owner(s) esure (49%)
Website www.gocompare.com

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.

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.

History[edit]

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,[1] and was formerly head of business development at Confused.com.[2]

It was the first comparison site to focus on features of insurance products rather than just listing prices,[3] which led to the company being invited to become a member of the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA).[4]

The company, which is 49% owned by esure, posted a pre-tax profit of £34.7m for 2011, up 15% on the previous year.[1]

The company is currently the shorts sponsor of Welsh Football team Cardiff City.[citation needed]

Services[edit]

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".[5]

Advertising[edit]

In June 2009 the company launched an advertising campaign featuring a fictional Italian tenor called Gio Compario played by Wynne Evans,[6] 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.[7][8]

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, Jimmy Carr, 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."[9]

Awards[edit]

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'.[10] In September 2009 it achieved the Investors in People award.[11]

The company's founder, Hayley Parsons, was winner of the 'Woman in Business' award at the South Wales Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2009.[12] 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.[13] 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.[1]

Controversy[edit]

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.[14]

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%.[15] Gocompare.com was blacklisted again in April 2009.[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]