Illegal immigrants, coming over here, taking our mortgage ads etc
TotallyMoney.co.uk is one of the many comparison sites that allows you to compare financial products offered by companies across the country. Like the dozens of aggregators offering exactly the same service, they advertise across the intermaweb in the hope you'll click through to peruse their affiliate-fuelled deals.
Avid Bitterwallet Emma did just that, after noticing a banner ad for TotallyMoney in Yahoo! Mail (yes, we found the person that still uses it). Here's that ad, illustrated with a headshot of a gentleman looking sour, presumably about his current financial predicament:
"For some reason, the man's face made me chuckle," said Emma, "in that he looked so grim and it was a grim advert. I then wondered who he was, and was he really looking so grim because of his mortgage?"
Out of nothing more than mild curiosity and nothing better to do, Emma fed the image into Tineye - a website that can identify the source of an online image and it's other uses. Usually when an image is a stock photo bought for commercial purposes, Tineye will return results including a stock photo gallery like iStockPhoto.
In this instance, however, there was only one matching result:
Say hello to Doug. The down-on-his-luck TotallyMoney customer is in fact an illegal immigrant in the USA. Of course he's unlikely to be a real immigrant; he's probably a model in this US advertising campaign. But given that the advert uses very specific photography, there's a very good chance it was shot for that advert. So how did he end up in an advert for a financial website in the UK?