Tasteless insurance marketing ad uses MH17 crash to sell life policies

An Australian firm has now apologized for its advertising tactic after heavy criticisms.

Life Insurance campaignAfter receiving heavy criticism from Australians and people from other countries around the world, a life insurer has now apologized for having run an insurance marketing ad that described the tragedy of the MH17 crash as “a sign to consider life insurance”.

That said, the company has blamed the actions of an overseas marketer for the creation of the advertisement.

The Malaysian Airlines MH17 crash has been a terrible tragedy unto itself while also following quite closely on the heels of the last crash that was suffered by the airline, MH370, and by the loved ones of everyone aboard. The Lisa Group’s insurance marketing firm made the choice to run an ad shortly after this most recent devastating crash to try to use the situation as a way to capture the attention of customers in order to make more sales of life policies.

It isn’t that surprising that this insurance marketing strategy was seen as insensitive and in poor taste.

The insurance company has issued an apology regarding the actions it took to try to use the MH17 disaster as an opportunity. Only hours following this recent disaster, the Lisa Group firm went ahead and purchased the “Malaysia Airlines” Google keywords and subsequently published its ads above the news stories that were linked to the downed airplane tragedy. These ads asked questions of the readers, such as “Is MH17 Malaysia Airlines tragedy a sign to consider life insurance?”

On the insurer’s own website, the company also tried to use the disaster in order to sell life policies. The website ran the header “What a tragedy!”, followed by “Up to 27 Australians were among 298 people on board a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet which was shot down over Ukraine with the loss of all on board. Is it another sign to consider life insurance? #PrayForMH17.”

According to the insurer, it was an overseas firm that they had hired that assisted them with their website insurance marketing as well as with the choices made for advertising over search engines. The head of the insurer, Warren Lazarus, explained that when he found out, he was “flabbergasted” and that his first move was to order the removal of the ads, immediately. He stated that the ads had been in place for about fifteen minutes, when all was said and done and added that “We apologize for any distress it has caused.”

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