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Dr Harold ShipmanGMP

A life insurance firm has defended using serial killer Harold Shipman in an advert after it was labelled “beyond despicable” by other industry leaders.

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

The Leicester-based firm said it wanted to “make people stop and think”.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) watchdog said it was reviewing more than 50 complaints about the ad.

Shipman is estimated to have murdered up to 250 people during his time as a GP in Hyde, Greater Manchester.

‘Shocking brand’

Senior insurance advisers across the UK have slammed the advertising campaign.

Kathryn Knowles, founder of Cura Financial Services, tweeted: “Please know that many of us in insurance find this beyond despicable.”

Others called it “shocking” and “absolutely appalling”.

In a statement, the firm’s 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.”

Shipman was found guilty of murdering 15 patients under his care in January 2000, sentenced to life imprisonment with a whole life order. He was found dead in his cell in Wakefield Prison in 2004.

An ASA representative said it had taken “careful note of the serious concerns being raised about this advert and we’re reviewing complaints to determine whether there are grounds for further action”.

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Source: BBC

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