Gocompare.com

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GoCompare
GoCompare
TypeLimited company
LSEGOCO
IndustryPrice comparison
Founded2006
FounderHayley Parsons
Headquarters,
Area served
United Kingdom
Key people
Sir Peter Wood (Chairman)
Matthew Crummack (CEO)
ServicesFinancial services
Revenue£142.1 million (2016)[1]
£21.9 million (2016)[1]
£15.8 million (2016)[1]
Websitewww.gocompare.com Edit this at Wikidata

GoCompare is a British financial services comparison website run by Goco plc, a company established in Wales in 2006. It provides comparison details for financial products including car insurance, home and pet insurance and breakdown cover. GoCompare is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is in the process of being taken over by media company Future plc. The company is well-known for its advertising campaign, which in 2015 was voted as the "most irritating advertisement."

History[edit]

Goco was established in November 2006 and is based in Newport, Wales. The company's founder was Hayley Parsons, who worked for Admiral Insurance for 14 years,[2] and was formerly head of business development at Confused.com.[3] Parsons was replaced as CEO by Jon Morrell following a takeover by insurance company esure in March 2015 [2]

It was the first comparison site to focus on features of insurance products rather than just listing prices,[4] which led to the company being invited to become a member of the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA).[5]

The company, which at the time was 49% owned by insurance company esure, posted a pre-tax profit of £34.7 million for 2011, up 15% on the previous year.[2]

On 8 December 2014, esure acquired Goco in a deal worth £95 million.[6] In November 2016 the company was the subject of a demerger from esure.[7]

In November 2017, ZPG's offer to buy the company for £460 million was rejected.[8]

In December 2017, GoCompare announced the acquisition of MyVoucherCodes, one of the UK's largest online voucher code sites, in a £36.5m deal.[9]

In November 2020, GoCompare agreed to a £594m takeover offer from Future plc, Britain’s biggest magazines publisher.[10]

Services[edit]

GoCompare 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".[11]

Advertising[edit]

In June 2009 the company launched an advertising campaign featuring a fictional Italian tenor called Gio Compario (pronounced: Jeo Campario) played by Wynne Evans.[12] The advertisements feature 'Gio' singing the 'Go Compare' tune (inspired by Over There) in various locations, and in 2015 were voted "most irritating advertisement".[13]

In response to this reaction, Go Compare deliberately subverted the campaign in July 2012 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."[14] The character returned in July 2015 after an 18-month break, singing as part of what Evans called a "much calmer performance".[15] The character appeared again in 2020 after the coronavirus lockdown measures were eased in the UK in July 2020.[16]

Public image[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.[17]

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%.[18] Gocompare.com was blacklisted again in April 2009.[19]

In August 2019 the company received criticism from road safety organisations after debuting an advert depicting the Gio Compario character crashing into a tree and flipping over.[20] The Advertising Standards Authority received over 70 complaints regarding the advertisement.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Annual Report 2016" (PDF). Go Compare. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Dunkley, Jamie (1 July 2012). "Go Compare founder Hayley Parsons nets £3.2m dividend". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  3. ^ "Start-up compares well for ex-Admiral worker". Western Mail. 21 February 2007. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  4. ^ Sion Barry (11 September 2009). "Best business brains receive their awards at celebration of local talent". walesonline.
  5. ^ "Go Compare". BIBA.
  6. ^ "Newport-based Gocompare.com in £95m takeover deal". BBC News. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Gocompare.com Shares Begin Trading After esure Demerger". TD Direct Investing. 3 November 2016. Retrieved 4 November 2016.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Aime Williams, Oliver Ralph (14 November 2017). "ZPG confirms failed £460m bid for GoCompare.com". Financial Times.
  9. ^ "GoCompare to buy MyVoucherCodes in £36.5m deal". Telegraph. 19 December 2017. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  10. ^ Sweney, Mark (25 November 2020). "Country Life publisher Future to buy GoCompare for £594m". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  11. ^ "Covered mag, presented by Gocompare.com". gocompare.com.
  12. ^ "GoCompare creates opera singer to take on Comparethemarket's meerkat". marketingmagazine.co.uk.
  13. ^ Burn, Rebecca (22 January 2015). "The most annoying adverts from the past 15 years". Telegraph. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  14. ^ "Marketing and advertising: Small screen, big rewards?". www.postonline.co.uk.
  15. ^ Karen Price (26 July 2015). "Go Compare: The most annoying man on telly is back". walesonline.
  16. ^ "Home Comforts Advertisement". Go Compare. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  17. ^ "Personal details at risk on comparison websites". The Times. 22 September 2007. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ "GoCompare Car Insurance - www.gocompare.com - Go Compare Ban?". Money News Shopping. ASAP Ventures. 23 April 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  20. ^ "GoCompare Tree" – via www.youtube.com.
  21. ^ "Go Compare advert draws complaints over 'insensitive' car crash scene". ITV News.

External links[edit]