The price comparison website Comparethemarket has pulled ads from news bulletins amid the growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine. 

The ads feature an animated meerkat Aleksandr Orlov, a Russian billionaire from Moscow, and his sidekick Sergei. 

The company has said it has reviewed its plan to make sure the ads did not appear around news bulletins or other similar content. 

“The Comparethemarket meerkats are fictional characters,” said a spokesperson for the company.

“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 ads have run since 2009 and Comparethemarket is one of the top comparison sites in the UK. 

The catchphrase "simples" became so popular it was featured in the Collins English Dictionary in 2010.

Orlov is voiced by Simon Greenhall, who plays Michael in I'm Alan Partridge.