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17thJuly 2013

Local pet finds stardom in national television advert with Petplan

Ace, a Labrador from Chesham, Bucks, has won a nationwide competition to feature alongside 41 other pets in a national television advert for the UK's largest pet insurer, Petplan. Ace went head-to-head with 29,000 fame hungry fidos, felines and flopsys' to win a starring role in the brand's first ever 'user-generated' television advert.

Ace's owner, Kaye Townsend, a national newspaper planner, had always wanted a dog and having moved to Chesham from London last year, could finally fulfil that wish. Kaye went to Chiltern Dog Rescue Centre (CDRS) and was shown a frightened looking 5 month old black Labrador puppy who had recently been rescued from Wales. "I fell in love with him instantly and took him home a few days later," said Kaye, "He's one in a million." It took him a while to settle into his new home but Kate is proud to say he has developed from a timid rescue puppy into a happy, healthy and loving dog.

Ace has found fame after Kaye submitted his photograph to Petplan's Facebook page in February. Ace was then selected as one of the 100 finalists by an independent panel of judges before being picked as one of the winners by public vote on the Petplan UK Facebook page.

Talking of the winning photo, Kaye said: "The photo was taken one winter's day when Ace was relaxing in the living room watching the first snow of the year falling in our garden. He must have been wondering what it was as he'd never experienced snow before. Shortly afterwards we went to play in the snow and I had endless fun playing snowball with him - I threw the snowballs for him to fetch, every time he came running back looking very confused when he couldn't find them!"

Isabella von Mesterhazy, Petplan's Head of Marketing, said "At Petplan we pride ourselves on being 'pet people' and as a nation of known animal lovers, what better way to celebrate this than give real pets the chance to star in our TV ad. This competition captured genuine emotion and sentiment amongst pet owners and the final ad will evoke the same feelings when viewed."

Ace's image will feature alongside the voice of Ben Miller from comedy double act Armstrong and Miller in a one-off television advert to be aired nationwide on primetime TV on Wednesday 17th July. To see their starring moment, tune into the TV programme the Zoo on ITV between 8pm-9pm. But if you do miss your local pet star's moment of fame, don't worry, you can also watch the advert on the Petplan website: www.petplan.co.uk and the Petplan UK Facebook page: www.facebook.com/PetplanUK.

Notes to editors

Established over 35 years ago, Petplan is the UK's number one pet insurance provider in the world, offering comprehensive lifetime pet insurance cover for dogs, cats and rabbits. Petplan, is part of Allianz Insurance, one of the largest general insurers in the UK.