There may very well be people out there somewhere who have heard of comparison website (apparently they were big in 2008). But until Google this week announced plans to acquire BTQ for the best part of £38m, Bankstone News cannot claim to have ranked among their number.

Yes, like all Britain’s best-selling news organs, we’re ignorant and proud of it here at BS News!

So what exactly did Google see in this obscure price comparison website? It’s all about foothold strengthening, we can exclusively reveal. The deal, we understand, will enable Google “to strengthen its foothold in the UK financial products market.”

A successful ascent – to pursue the climbing metaphor implicit in this pronouncement – generally also requires a handhold or two (Google does not specify whether they already have or are looking to acquire any of these) and ideally more than a single foothold. But it’s early days yet, and no doubt Google is glad to have found somewhere to lodge at least one of its doubtless very strong feet.

BTQ man John Paleomylites (whose surname, fact fans, is Greek for veteran in the military sense) said he is looking forward to working with the Googlers “to create new tools, making it easier for consumers to choose the right financial products” and that he is “confident that by combining’s expertise in UK financial products with Google’s technology, we’ll accelerate innovation in this field, benefiting consumers and the companies offering these products.”

Sounds like everyone should be happy now that world-bestriding behemoth Google is setting up camp in the cosy world of UK financial comparing. Except perhaps those other comparisoneers who can now sit back and watch their websites mysteriously fade into web-search invisibility.

The obvious fly-shaped irritant in all this lovely BTQ ointment, however, would appear to be the absence of a charming mascot/avatar along the lines of Aleksandr Compario, Gio Orlov or whomever. They’ll never get anywhere without one of those.

With this in mind, Bankstone News is happy to offer the following world-beating marketing idea for BTQ – completely FOC! How about annoyingly repetitive ads suggesting a hilarious misunderstanding between the phrase “Beat that Quote” and the similar sounding “Beat that Stoat.”

Jimmy the Stoat – star of the “Cloff ears!” campaign is a cute little cockney critter (based very closely on St Trinian’s Flash Harry/Arthur Daley – take your pick, he’s non-specific age-wise) who constantly complains (over a catchy Chaz ‘n’ Dave bar-room piano riff) about people roughing him up all the time – when they should be comparing loans, mortgages, insurance premiums etc.

With each new ad describing another of the various assaults to which Jimmy has supposedly been subjected in more and more lurid and far-fetched detail and constantly repeating catchphrases such as “Fackin’ ‘ell!” “Do me a favour!” “You muppets!” etc. the campaign is sure to be quoted endlessly in playgrounds and canteens across the land.

It’s a sure fire winner, we’re sure you’ll agree.


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