The 10 most complained about ads in 2016

Lee Lin Chin ad

A still from the Meat & Livestock Australia ad

Complaints about discrimination and vilification have dominated consumers’ gripes to the advertising watchdog this year, with complaints about car brand Ultra Tune’s treatment of sex and sexuality landing three of the brand’s ads in a list of the most complained about ads in 2016.

However, the Advertising Standards Board only upheld complaints against one of the Ultra Tune clips, which featured two women in a car that breaks down on train tracks. That particular ad received 208 complaints.

Read more: The 10 most complained about ads in 2015

Lingerie brand Honey Birdette also made it into this year’s list, after 59 complaints were lodged about one of its store window posters. The Ad Standards Board upheld the complaints on the basis that the images in the poster did not treat the issue of sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity, given the broad audience that could see the material in shopping centres.

An ad from Medibank Private that featured different family groups, including a lesbian couple and mixed race parents, was subject to 66 complaints. However, the watchdog dismissed the concerns.

Meanwhile, Meat & Livestock Australia took out three places on this year’s list, thanks to more than 700 complaints about its Australia Day commercial featuring SBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin.

The Ad Standards Board dismissed the complaints, which were in response to the content appearing on both free-to-air television and social media accounts, but the campaign is now the third-most complained about ad of all time, according to the Ad Standards Board.

“Discrimination and vilification is consistently one of the most complained about issues, along with sex, sexuality and nudity,” said Ad Standards Bureau chief executive Fiona Jolly in a statement.

“What we can see from this list is that the community is concerned about discrimination across a range of categories, including gender, race and lifestyle choices.”

The Ad Standards Board received more than 5000 complaints in 2016, which compares to more than 400 in 2015. Over a third of the complaints received were for the 10 ads listed below.

The 10 most complained about ads in 2016:

1. Ultra Tune Australia (418 complaints)

Broadcast on free-to-air TV; complaints dismissed.

2. Meat & Livestock Australia (376 complaints)

Broadcast on free-to-air TV; complaints dismissed.

3. BCF (248 complaints)

Broadcast on free-to-air TV; complaints dismissed.

4. Meat & Livestock Australia (241 complaints)

Distributed on the internet; complaints dismissed (see above).

5. Ultra Tune Australia (208 complaints)

Broadcast on free-to-air TV; complaints upheld.

6. Meat & Livestock Australia (130 complaints)

Distributed on the internet and via social media; complaints dismissed (see above).

7. Ultra Tune Australia (113 complaints)

Broadcast on free-to-air TV; complaints dismissed.

8. Roadshow Film Distributors – “The Conjuring” (82 complaints)

Broadcast on Free-to-air TV, complaints upheld.

9. Medibank Private (66 complaints)

Broadcast on free-to-air TV; complaints dismissed.

10. Honey Birdette (59 complaints)

A poster that appeared in the windows of Honey Birdette stores; complaints upheld.

COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Close
SmartCompany Plus

Sign in

To connect a sign in method the email must match the one on your SmartCompany Plus account.
Or use your email
Show
Forgot your password?

Want some assistance?

Contact us on: support@smartcompany.com.au or call the hotline: +61 (03) 8623 9900.