No fun in
Osterbergland… will Iggy be “down on the street” looking for some new car
By Fred Mills
Remember that TV ad Iggy Pop filmed for the Swiftcover car insurance
company? Sure you do! The one where a shirtless Mr. Osterberg, in full gurning
mode, bemoans how important personal papers always seem to go missing (“I haven’t
seen my birth certificate in years,” he mutters – probably not such a bad
thing, if you think about it…), but how, thanks to Swiftcover, at least he’s
got “insurance on my insurance”? It was a pretty eye-catching ad, even by most
eye-catching ad standards. You can refresh yourself at this YouTube link (or
simply see it, along with his second ad for the company, below).
Well, although Iggy is apparently still working for
Swiftcover.com (his image is currently gracing the company’s homepage), it
appears that there has been some sleight-of-hand concerning the man’s actual
coverage. Awhile back it was reported that a number of UK musicians who’d applied for
coverage were advised by Swiftcover that the company deems anyone classified as
an “entertainer” to be ineligible for their insurance.
And today, NME.com is reporting that in the wake of a filing
Advertising Standards Authority claiming that the ad is “deceptive,” the ad “must
never be broadcast again in its current form” – essentially, the Iggy ad has
According to the ASA, “Because the policy was promoted
by a well-known musician, which might lead some viewers to believe the policy
covered those who worked in entertainment, when it did not, and because Iggy
Pop did not have a policy with Swiftcover, we concluded the ad was misleading.”
The advertising industry has long used celebrity pitchmen,
of course, not to mention attractive actors who portray regular folks in ads.
And as a culture, we’ve become accustomed to a degree of
suspension-of-disbelief when it comes to whether or not the person in the ad
actually uses the product in question (or, for that matter, actually believes
in the lines he or she is reciting). But the ASA does have a point about the ad
being misleading, and Iggy does state
that he is “Swiftcovered” in the ad. That’s a bit different from just gazing
into the camera and telling the world that the toothpaste you’re holding will
make consumers’ teeth brighter.
No comments yet from the Iggy camp, of course, and nothing
has been posted in the news section of the Swiftcover site either. However,
some clever YouTube “answer ads” to the original Swiftcover ad have been
posted, including the one below.