The TV ads starring those well-dressed Russian billionaire meerkats have been pulled from TV because of the current situation in Ukraine. And all I want to say is I’ll miss you Meerman Aleksandr Orlov.
Price comparison website Compare The Market is best known for its TV advertisements about Russian philanthropic meerkat Aleksandr Orlov and his sidekick-turned-unofficial-boyfriend Sergei. Sorry, but you can’t convince me that they’re straight.
The long-running ad series was first introduced in 2009. The canon is that he came from Moscow then traveled around Australia for a few years. We love an international icon.
The company had to make some changes to its media plan in the UK in light of Russia’s horrific invasion of Ukraine.
The Guardian reports that the company spent up to £90m (AUD$165.9m) on marketing in the UK in the past year. About two-thirds of the funds went towards TV campaigns.
A spokesperson for Compare The Market said via The Guardian that it had reviewed its TV advertisement schedule so that the ads don’t air during content related to the Ukrainian conflict such as a news update. But a spokesperson for the Australian arm of the company told Mumbrella it was monitoring the situation for now.
Here’s where things get wild. The UK spokesperson then denounced Orlov and his servant boyfriend’s connection to Russia.
“The Comparethemarket meerkats are fictional characters,” they said.
“They have no association with Russia and the current situation.”
Yeah, duh. It’s honestly wild that in 2022 a company has to release a public statement confirming its deal-hungry and camp Russian meerkat in a series of TV ads doesn’t support Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s unjust invasion into Ukraine. But here we are.
“We are continually reviewing our advertising to ensure we’re being sensitive to the current situation,” the spokesperson added.
Brands have publicly denounced their connection to Russia amid the recent situation in Ukraine. Disney and Warner Bros announced they would be delaying their film releases in the country, per GameSpot.