LONDON, Feb. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Market Harborough yesterday officially changed its name to Meerkat Harborough. The name change, for one day only, is to mark the Leicestershire town becoming the UK twin town of the Russian village of Meerkovo, the home of Aleksandr Orlov, founder of comparethemeerkat.com.
Market Harborough beat off strong competition from Market Drayton, Downham Market, Windermere and Weston-Super-Mare in a public vote held on Facebook. The news was announced in the Meerkovian, the weekly newspaper of the meerkat village, which can be read on www.meerkovo.com.
The search was launched to raise awareness of the plight of the meerkat villagers, who are the focus of the latest comparethemeerkat.com TV commercials. Meerkovo, which is dependent on Aleksandr's meerkat comparison business, continues to suffer as people in the UK looking for cheap car insurance on comparethemarket.com are visiting comparethemeerkat.com by mistake. This is clogging up the website and they want to clear up the confusion.
The Meerkovo twin towns search attracted over 1000 nominations for over 100 UK towns from meerkat fans via Facebook and Twitter. These were shortlisted to the final five, which went to the public vote.
To secure the twin town status, residents and businesses of "Meerkat" Harborough created an unstoppable campaign, generating over 8,000 votes, the equivalent of half the town's population.
Market Harborough's campaign activity, which attracted strong support from its local media, included creating two Facebook campaign pages (one with over 2,000 followers), an official Meerkat Harborough Twin Town committee, a dedicated campaign website with daily updates and even a movie.
Councillor Rosita Page, Chair of Harborough District Council, received the twin town status certificate today and to mark the occasion the town's main road signs were changed to "Meerkat Harborough" for the day. The town will also receive a community donation of 5,000 pounds.
Speaking from his mansion, Aleksandr Orlov said, "It give me large pleasure to announce Meerkat Harborough as winner of prestigious twin town polls. I have great hope that the twinning of two great and handsome villages will help raise awareness of the plight of long-suffering Meerkovo. Market Harborough-ians everywhere should be very proud of achievement!"
People looking to help the meerkat village in-need can visit www.meerkovo.com where they can meet and cheer up its inhabitants, play games to help save Meerkovo and prove they know the difference between comparethemarket.com and comparethemeerkat.com
For full details on the poll visit Aleksandr's Facebook and Twitter sites or read the Meerkovian newspaper at http://www.meerkovo.com