A life insurance company came under fire after an advertisement featuring Harold Shipman was published.

dead happy, a lesterA company famous for shocking ads used the image of a serial killer along with the text “Life insurance: because you never know who your doctor might be.”

The ad, which ran on social media, has been described as “tasteless” and “disgusting” online.

Shipman, who worked as a GP for decades, was convicted of 15 murders in 1998 but is suspected of possibly killing as many as 250 people between 1975 and 1998.

He hanged himself in prison in 2004.

Katherine Knowles, founder of insurance broker Quora, said on Twitter that it would report the “absolutely disgusting” ad to the Financial Conduct Authority and the advertising watchdog.

She said: “There is a company that is promoting life insurance using the image of a mass murderer to promote their services.

“I’m not going to mention either because I wouldn’t give them the satisfaction of showing up in more search results. Please know that many of us in the insurance business find this not despicable.

Ms Knowles added: “It is my hope that the FCA and ASA will take action on this matter. I would like to file a formal complaint with both of them about this ad and will provide them with a copy.”

A family member of one of the victims saw the ad and said: “As someone whose relative was murdered by Harold Shipman, your latest ad using his image is despicable and unacceptable.

“I hope you enjoy another ASA ruling and change your practices.”

In a statement, company founder Andy Nutt said: “We’re called DeadHappy and our motto is ‘life insurance to die for’ so we’re aware of the highly provocative and shocking nature of our brand.

“But being provocative is different from being offensive, and of course it is not our intention to offend or upset people. We intend to make people stop and think.

“However, if you feel personally upset by this announcement, we deeply apologize.”

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