The Advertising Standards Bureau has unveiled its list of the most complained about ads of the year so far, along with the reasons for the complaints.
While all the complaints so far have been dismissed, the top 10 entrants have each racked up between 20 and 185 complaints.
Topping the list is an advertisement for Johnson & Johnson’s Carefree brand of tampons.
So are the ads as bad as some would say? Should they be barred from appearing on our airwaves forever? To help you make up your own mind on the subject, here’s six of the nation’s most offensive advertisements and some of the reasons people gave for complaining.
Warning: Some of these advertisements may offend.
1. Carefree tampons be real campaign
This ad discusses everyday situations were real women have been embarrassed by wearing tampons. However, according to complaints, the descriptions are too graphic for some:
“It’s degrading to women. It’s something that does not need to be shown, at least not so detailed, on television!
“I object to this advert because it mentions blood seeping through clothing and also the idea of a young girl being embarrassed to be ‘groped’ in the back of a car by her boyfriend because she is wearing a pad.
“This prompted very awkward questions from my 11 year old daughter who only knows the barest of details surrounding ‘periods’ and was wondering why a women would be embarrassed to wear a pad in a car with a boy.”
2. Nivea stress protect
Nivea landed 52 complaints for an ad viewers complained was sexist in its depictions – of men: “Both my wife and I agreed after watching the advertisement that it was very sexist. The struggle for sexual equality is clearly not evident in this advertisement. The advertisement clearly assumes the male as a weaker, inferior sex.
“It is the sort of advertisement that doesn’t need to be legislated against, it just shouldn’t be a direction any conscious advertiser should be going with.
3. Nivea in shower
Aside from being “offensive” to men, Nivea also go into trouble for showing too much breast in one of its ads – for shower products:
“There should not have been any shot of the woman’s breast. All of my family members were offended by this. It it totally unnecessary.
“The advertisement in my opinion showed a little too much of the model’s breasts. It clearly pictured side, bottom and top profiles of her breasts, whilst still trying to subtly hide herself with her hands. Clearly not enough.”
4. St John’s Ambulance
St John’s Ambulance in WA offended viewers by depicting a mother unable to resuscitate her son, who was drowning in a pool, in an ad designed to highlight the importance of first aid training:
“The ad is bullshit, disgusting, untrue, distressing and totally over the top. It’s a load of crap that the mother can’t save her son because she doesn’t have first aid training. Every time it comes on it makes me shriek, and my immediate friends and family are exactly the same.
“We’ve all been in positions of emergency and a fatality is obviously worst case scenario, but clearly not the result of every case.
5. Sam Kekovich – lamb on Australia Day
Sam Kekovich has been advertising lamb on Australia Day for a decade. However, vegans and vegetarians are still not sold on the concept:
“It instigates that child will not grow up strong and will be un-Australian if they do not eat and enjoy lamb. Also being derogatory to vegans and vegetarians calling them hippies and un-Australian for their compassionate lifestyle choices.
6. Menulog’s last supper
Menulog’s latest campaign wanted to satirise the painting of the process of painting Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous masterpiece The Last Supper.
Unfortunately for the online take away ordering service, some Christians found the ad offensive.
“I am offended by the ad portraying without any doubt, Jesus and his disciples at the Last Supper, trying to figure out what they should eat and then go on Menulog.com.au to look at their options and then decide on pizza. The Last Supper was a very significant event and as a Christian I am highly offended. Why is it always Christian events and symbols being mocked, and a mockery this is indeed. Very disappointed with the advertiser.”