Broadcasts of adverts featuring Russian meerkat Aleksandr Orlov and his loyal companion Sergei will be restricted on television, because of concerns about sensitivities surrounding the invasion of Ukraine.
Although stressing the meerkats are fictional and "have no association with Russia and the current situation", insurance comparison site Compare the Market has decided to pull its ‘Compare the meerkat’ campaign during news sections.
Over the past 13 years, Orlov has been portrayed as an extravagant billionaire, with his catchphrase "Simples" becoming hugely popular.
However, Compare the Market, which is own by BGL Group based in Peterborough, has taken the decision to make sure the adverts do not appear close to news programmes to be "sensitive to the current situation".
A spokesperson for the site said: “The Compare the Market meerkats are fictional characters. They have no association with Russia and the current situation.
“We are continually reviewing our advertising to ensure we’re being sensitive to the current situation.”
The site saw its traffic increase about 80% after the adverts began in 2009.
Companies around the world are reviewing their business practices with Russia as many countries have imposed sanctions following its Ukraine invasion.
In the car industry, both Jaguar Land Rover and Volvo have announced that they are pausing sales in Russia while the conflict continues.