Controversy continues to rage in the West Country over the authenticity or otherwise of Paul Whitehouse’s Plymouth accent in Aviva’s new motor insurance TV spots.

Early drafts of the script, the local papers report incredulously, included Bristolian slang words like “babber.” Luckily such infelicities were ironed out and the comedian managed a semi-passable impression of the typical Plymouth Argyle fan setting off to a match against another far-flung minor team. Given that this turns out to be Newcastle, we can only assume the ad is set in the future – September 19th to be precise – when this obscure fixture next takes place.

Bemoaning the expense of following The Janners, Whitehouse hilariously quips “22 away games last season. Money I spent on petrol, we could have bought Ditmar van Nostrilboy!” Fellow green-clad Pilgrims fans “chip in for petrol” but the sheepish Whitehouse does not feel able to ask for a contribution to his insurance costs.

All is not lost, however, the money he saves by insuring direct with Aviva funds the purchase of an away shirt. “Want 12 months car insurance for the price of 10? Go direct! Get the Aviva deal,” the voiceover urges.

Building on this success, Aviva has announced more ads featuring Whitehouse to be aired in October, this time encouraging would-be purchasers of commercial insurance to contact brokers.

Apparently lots of brokers had told Janice Deakin, corporate sales manager with Aviva that they didn’t think the insurer “would ever do a TV campaign such as this, aimed purely at the commercial broker market.” “I couldn’t be more pleased to prove them wrong” she says.

“Creating a TV campaign that encourages customers to contact their local broker for advice is not only a first for Aviva,” she says, “but also another great example of our commitment and support to the broker channel, and recognises how valuable that two way support is.”

See the spot by clicking here.

And yes, a propos of nothing in particular, Aviva’s Spanish offshoot really is called Aviva España!

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