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Limited company
Traded asLSEGOCO
IndustryPrice comparison
FounderHayley Parsons
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]

GoCompare is a British financial services comparison website, established in Wales in 2006. It provides comparison details for financial products including car insurance, home and pet insurance and breakdown cover. 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".[2] It is listed on the London Stock Exchange.


GoCompare 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,[3] and was formerly head of business development at Confused.com.[4] Parsons was replaced as CEO by Jon Morrell following a takeover by insurance company esure in March 2015 [3]

It was the first comparison site to focus on features of insurance products rather than just listing prices,[5] which led to the company being invited to become a member of the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA).[6]

The company, which is 49% owned by esure, posted a pre-tax profit of £34.7 million for 2011, up 15% on the previous year.[3]

On 8 December 2014, esure, the insurance company, acquired Gocompare.com in a deal worth £95 million.[7]

In November 2016 the company was the subject of a demerger from esure.[8]

In November 2017, ZPG's offer to buy the company for £460 million was rejected.[9]

In December 2017 GoCompare announced the acquisition of MyVoucherCodes, one of the UK's largest online voucher code sites, in a £36.5m deal.[10]


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]


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 was voted as the most irritating advertisement of both 2009 and 2010.[13][14]

In direct 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."[15]

The character returned in July 2015 after an 18-month break, singing as part of what Evans called a "much calmer performance".[16]

The character returned again in 2020 with adverts after the coronavirus lockdown measures were eased in the UK in July 2020.[17]


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'.[18] In September 2009 it achieved the Investors in People award.[19]

The company's founder, Hayley Parsons, was winner of the 'Woman in Business' award at the South Wales Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2009.[20] 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.[21] 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.[3]


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.[22]

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%.[23] Gocompare.com was blacklisted again in April 2009.[24]

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.[25] The Advertising Standards Authority received over 70 complaints regarding the advertisement.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Annual Report 2016" (PDF). Go Compare. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  2. ^ Burn, Rebecca. "The most annoying adverts from the past 15 years". Telegraph. Retrieved 2016-11-04.
  3. ^ a b c d Dunkley, Jamie (1 July 2012). "Go Compare founder Hayley Parsons nets £3.2m dividend". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-01-11.
  4. ^ "Start-up compares well for ex-Admiral worker". Western Mail. 21 February 2007. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  5. ^ Sion Barry (11 September 2009). "Best business brains receive their awards at celebration of local talent". walesonline.
  6. ^ "Page not found". Cite uses generic title (help)
  7. ^ "Newport-based Gocompare.com in £95m takeover deal". BBC News. Retrieved 2015-06-14.
  8. ^ "Gocompare.com Shares Begin Trading After esure Demerger". TD Direct Investing. 3 November 2016. Retrieved 4 November 2016.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Aime Williams, Oliver Ralph (14 November 2017). "ZPG confirms failed £460m bid for GoCompare.com". Financial Times.
  10. ^ "GoCompare to buy MyVoucherCodes in £36.5m deal". Telegraph. 19 December 2017. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  11. ^ "Covered mag, presented by Gocompare.com". gocompare.com.
  12. ^ "GoCompare creates opera singer to take on Comparethemarket's meerkat". marketingmagazine.co.uk.
  13. ^ "The most irritating ads of 2009". marketingmagazine.co.uk.
  14. ^ "'GoCompare' car insurance telly ad named most annoying of 2010". tellymix.co.uk.
  15. ^ "Marketing and advertising: Small screen, big rewards?". www.postonline.co.uk.
  16. ^ Karen Price (26 July 2015). "Go Compare: The most annoying man on telly is back". walesonline.
  17. ^ "Home Comforts Advertisement". Go Compare. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  18. ^ "One to Watch 2008". Fast Growth Business Awards by Startups.co.uk: Start up a successful business.
  19. ^ "Gocompare Hayley's in a league of her own". Western Mail. 29 January 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  20. ^ "Best business brains receive their awards at celebration of local talent". Western Mail. 12 September 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  21. ^ "Awards recognise active citizenship". walesonline. 15 June 2010.
  22. ^ "Personal details at risk on comparison websites". The Times. 22 September 2007. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ "GoCompare Car Insurance - www.gocompare.com - Go Compare Ban?". Money News Shopping. ASAP Ventures. 23 April 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  25. ^ "GoCompare Tree" – via www.youtube.com.
  26. ^ "Go Compare advert draws complaints over 'insensitive' car crash scene". ITV News.

External links[edit]