According to the ASA’s annual report, published yesterday, the number of ad complaints reached an all-time high of 14,080 – an increase of 9.6 per cent on the year before.
Deemed “offensive”, “frightening” and “distressing”, the Department of Health’s hard hitting "fish hook" ad caused the biggest fuss, with 774 complaints.
Next up, were Cadbury’s “racist” adverts for Trident gum (519 complaints), which attracted anger by ridiculing Caribbeans.
That was followed by Kepak’s “sexist” advert for Rustlers burgers. A man brings a woman back to his flat and then “microwaves” her while she’s sitting on the sofa – in double-quick time, she’s down to her sexy undies. [“If only everything was as quick as Rustlers”]
Furniture giant MFI also had its knuckles rapped (217 complaints) for featuring a couple having a full-blown argument in one of its stores. The woman is so enraged, she wallops her husband across the face for leaving a toilet seat up.
The fifth most complained about ad was Marlow Food’s TV clip for Quorn. A family sits down to dinner. So defensive is the daughter over her Quorn that she clutches her fork, turns to her brother and says, "Touch my food; feel my fork”. 181 people got on the blower to the Advertising Standards Authority and complained that it encouraged bullying.
Is all publicity good publicity or have these businesses and organisations acted irresponsibly?
Which TV ads get your goat? Let’s hear your views.
Maybe Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones’ new gremlin ad will spark a few complaints. About his acting ability.
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