John Cleese advert banned for slamming bankers

Adverts featuring John Cleese in stockings are fine - but not if he’s going to insult bankers

John Cleese

Several adverts for a PPI claims company have been banned - and not for the reason you think. The adverts, featuring John Cleese, have been banned from TV for denigrating the banks.

See also: How to block nuisance calls - including PPI claims firms

See also: Call to make PPI complaints 'as soon as possible' as August 2019 deadline set

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The adverts don't pull any punches. One features Cleese as a banker, giving a speech to other braying bankers, claiming that they'd really rather not repay any more PPI. Another shows him (again as a banker) teaching a small boy the importance of stealing from the 'little' people because they don't have advisers, and another shows him making life difficult for a customer who wants his money back.

The approved ads, by contrast show him making it clear that he's not a banker, and that his decision to wear a stocking over his head is because of a penchant for women's underwear rather than any reference to bank robbing. They then outline that there's lots of PPI left to reclaim, and highlight the number of a claims company.

Publicity stunt?

Of course it goes without saying that the whole thing is a publicity stunt. They were never going to be approved for TV, and it's just a good opportunity to have Cleese say outrageous and shocking things about the banks.

By putting the adverts online, the company is trying to prove it's on the side of customers, and is just as outraged by the behaviour of the banks as we are.

But let's not get carried away.

For most of us, PPI claims companies are still the firms pestering us with endless nuisance calls, offering us services that we don't actually need, at a cost we may not immediately fully appreciate.

It's essential that anyone who fancies watching Cleese take the mickey out of bankers bears in mind that you don't need a PPI claims company in order to make a claim. If you go with a claims company, they will often charge up to 30% of any money owed to you for making the claim. In some cases, that's hundreds of pounds for what can be a very straightforward process.

It's perfectly easy to do it yourself. You don't even need to be sure whether you had PPI or who your lender was. You don't need the paperwork either. You can get hold of all of this information easily. There are plenty of guides online to take you through the process for free - and one of the most popular is on the moneysavingexpert website.

So by all means, watch the 'banned' adverts, and watch the interview where Cleese jokes that it's the 99% of bankers that give the honest 1% a bad name. Then close the website, and go and make a claim on your own.

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