Life insurance firm DeadHappy defends using photo of serial killer Harold Shipman in ‘appalling’ advert
- DeadHappy used a photo of the murderer to try to sell life insurance
- But the firm has doubled down and said it is just trying to be provocative
A life insurance firm has been called ‘appalling and tasteless’ for using a picture of serial killer Harold Shipman in one of its adverts.
Life insurance broker DeadHappy ran an advert this week with a photo of Shipman and the slogan ‘Life Insurance. Because you never know who your doctor might be.’
Shipman was found guilty of murdering 15 people, but the real figure could be as high as 250, making him one of the worst serial killers of all time. The former doctor died by suicide in a prison cell in 2004.
Insurance professionals have lined up to criticise the advert.
The life insurance broker said it was only being ‘provocative’ by featuring an image of Shipman
Gareth Davies, director at South Coast Mortgage Services, said: ‘There’s controversy and there’s downright wrong, and this is the latter I’m afraid.
‘However, I’m guessing they knew what the response would likely be, and it has us all talking about them as a firm.’
Scott Taylor-Barr, financial adviser at Carl Summers Financial Services, added: ‘This is really appalling and tasteless. Shipman’s crimes are not that long ago, his victims’ close families are still alive and could well see this advert, which would be horrendous for them.’
But DeadHappy has doubled down on using Shipman’s image in the advert.
DeadHappy founder Andy Knott said: ‘We are called DeadHappy and our strapline is “Life insurance to die for” so we are aware of the provocative (and to some the very shocking) nature of our brand.
‘But being provocative is different to being offensive and it is of course never our intention to offend or upset people. It is our intention to make people stop and think.
‘We do take risks with our brand and sometimes we may step over the line, whatever or wherever that line may be, and whoever chooses to draw it.’
What is DeadHappy?
DeadHappy is a fully online ‘pay-as-you-go’ life insurance broker which launched in February 2019.
The firm styles itself as a disruptor to more traditional life insurance firms and uses controversial advertising and branding.
Only 35 per cent of people in the UK have life insurance, according to Direct Line Life Insurance.
DeadHappy aims to increase that figure by making the process of buying life insurance quicker and simpler.
Customers go onto the DeadHappy website, decide how much of a payout they want when they die, answer a few questions then get a monthly quote to ensure that payout.
The process is purely digital, meaning you can’t speak to anyone in person or on the phone, and there is no advice.