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Industry Finance and insurance
Founded 2006
Headquarters Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, UK
Products Financial services
Website is a UK price comparison website, founded in 2006, that is part of the BGL Group. The website also offers other on-line companies the ability to provide their customers with a co-branded or white labelled comparison service.[1]

In 2009 the company launched an advertising campaign featuring a series of meerkat characters, after which it became the third-largest price comparison website in the UK.[citation needed]


The website was set up by Budget Group (now BGL Group) in early 2006,[2] following a decision to sell its high street business to Swinton.[3]

In 2012, launched its comparison service in Australia.[4][better source needed] The Australian company's television advertisements also feature the meerkat characters Aleksandr Orlov and his Head of IT, Sergei.[5][better source needed] However, these ads differ from the UK’s, with one such storyline revealing the meerkats have purchased

Comparison Products[edit]

Compare the Market allows customers to compare prices on a number of insurance products including car, home, van, life, pet, travel and over 50s insurance. It has also expanded in to the comparison of items that can be switched such as energy/utilities, broadband and digital TV, as well as a range of financial products such as loans, credit cards and ISAs.

Compare the Meerkat campaign[edit]

The "Aleksandr Orlov" meerkat character used in the company's advertising since 2009

On 5 January 2009, the company launched an advertising campaign featuring a CGI Russian meerkat character named "Aleksandr Orlov"[6] who pleads with viewers looking for cheap car insurance to stop confusing his meerkat comparison website with, due to the similarity between the words meerkat and market. As part of the campaign, was created which does indeed allow visitors to compare meerkats.[7]

In August 2009 an opinion piece in The Guardian newspaper accused the advert series of racism for mocking Eastern European accents. However, the Advertising Standards Authority stated that it had not received any similar complaints.[8]

On 12 November 2012, the website started sponsoring the long-running soap opera Coronation Street on ITV in a three-year deal, costing around £30 million.[9]

Other adverts[edit]

In December 2012 another advert was launched this time featuring Maurice Wigglethorpe-Throom (played by Robert Webb) the founder of Compare the Market and his assistant Spencer who find out about Aleksandr (who makes a cameo appearance in a photograph) and Compare the Meerkat.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Compare The Market". BGL Group. Retrieved 6 February 2012. 
  2. ^ Newman, Andrew (1 May 2006). "Another good year for Budget". Insurance Brokers' Monthly – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved 2013-01-11. 
  3. ^ "WHAT'S NEW?". Insurance Brokers' Monthly – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 1 September 2006. Retrieved 2013-01-12. 
  4. ^ "Compare the Market Australia". Retrieved April 28, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Compare the Market creates first local meerkat campaign with 'Mission Impawsible'". Retrieved April 28, 2017. 
  6. ^ "How Passion created Aleks the billionaire meerkat". Archived from the original on 25 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-01. 
  7. ^ Hickman, Martin (29 October 2010). "The 'Simples!' idea that became a £10m empire". The Independent. London. 
  8. ^ Jones, Peter (22 August 2009). "Meerkat forces? Not good enough - Peter Jones" – via 
  9. ^ O'Reilly, Lara (12 July 2012). "Comparethemarket to sponsor Corrie". Marketing Week. Retrieved 2013-01-12. 

External links[edit]