Enterprising meerkat rises to fame through TV ads, lands a book deal

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The Independent Culture

Aleksandr Orlov, a fictional Russian meerkat who has risen to fame through a hit UK advertising campaign, will be the subject of a new book, announced The Bookseller on June 4. A Simples Life - The Life and Times of Aleksandr Orlov is due out on October 28.

The animated Orlov is the focus of a TV advertising campaign for Compare the Market, a price comparison website. A series of eight commercials feature Orlov, who lives in Moscow, expressing frustration that people come to his website (comparethemeerkat.com) looking for car insurance rather than meerkats. ("Meerkat. Market. A son of mongoose could tell difference!" he gripes on his website.) The disgruntled Orlov ends the ads by saying, "Simples," followed by a squeak.

Orlov now has more than 750,000 followers on Facebook, 40,000 followers on Twitter, and an iPhone app with more than half a million downloads.

A Simples Life - which will not include an advertising component, says publisher Ebury Press - will be Orlov's autobiography, telling the story of his ancestors' journey from the Kalahari to Moscow, how he came to found comparethemeerkat.com, and his love of cravats.