First half insights

It’s been a busy start to 2022 with more than 1000 complaints lodged and over 100 cases raised between 1 January and 30 June.

The top issues of concern for Australians in the first half of 2022 were violence, sex, sexuality and nudity, and discrimination or vilification.

Overall, we’ve received 1133 complaints that contributed to 111 cases assessed by the Community Panel under one or more of the advertising codes. The platforms that attracted the most complaints are free-to-air TV, Instagram and Pay TV.

The depiction of violence in ads for some big brands have attracted the highest number of complaints. A total of 25 ads were reviewed against this section of the Code of Ethics, and 4 were found in breach of the rules. The second most complained about issue of 2022 was sex, sexuality and nudity. A total of 36 cases were raised and 3 ads were found in breach of this section of the Code.

The third most complained about issue was discrimination or vilification. With 28 cases created and 5 ads found in breach of this section of the Code, we encourage advertisers to carefully consider the rules and current community sentiment around this issue when producing advertising content. 

We’ve also seen an increase in complaints about environmental claims. Advertisers should be aware that the community is increasingly concerned that any claim about an environmental benefit be well substantiated.

Check out all the latest decisions from the Ad Standards Community Panel at adstandards.com.au/cases.