A Leicester insurtech startup has caused some controversy and received complaints for using an image of serial killer Harold Shipman in an advert.

DeadHappy used the image with the tagline: “Life Insurance. Because you never know who your doctor might be.”

According to reports, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) watchdog said it was reviewing more than 50 complaints about the ad.
DeadHappy aims to simply life insurance and is known to play on its somewhat provocative brand. 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. If however you have been personally distressed by this advert we do sincerely apologise.”

It isn’t the first time DeadHappy have caught the attention of advertising regulators. In 2019 a different ad was banned for trivialising suicide.

Meanwhile, one of the co-founders the startup stepped down as a director of the company in December.

Phil Zeidler helped build the Leicester firm seven years ago but will remain as a majority shareholder.