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Ad Standards reveals the most complained about ads to 30 June 2020

The 10 most complained about advertisements to 30 June 2020 reflects a high level of community concern about discrimination or vilification and the depiction of people in advertising. The mid-year report on the most complained about ads in Australia also highlights community concerns about sex and nudity, violence, and...

Community awareness advertising and community standards

Recently, we’ve seen a rise in health-related community awareness advertising aiming to educate Australians on being safe and hygienic during the COVID-19 pandemic. These sorts of ads are being created not only by government and not-for-profits, but also businesses who seek to play their part in raising awareness and...

Challenging a competitor’s advertising claims

The Ad Standards’ Industry Jury service is a cost-effective and efficient alternative to litigation. As the Federal Court of Australia decision Unilever Australia Ltd v Beiersdorf Australia Ltd [2018] FCA 2076 makes clear, although litigation is an important part of the justice system, it can often be long, drawn out,...

The top 10 to 30 June 2019

The 2019 Ad Standards’ mid-year report on the top 10 most complained about ads shows a decrease in the total number of complaints since last year, with just over 2,000 complaints processed to 30 June. Two of the top three most complained about were for horror movie trailers on free-to-air TV, with the level of violence and...

Ad Standards guidelines for influencers

With advertisers using social media influencers as an addition to traditional marketing, individuals needs to be aware that the advertising codes apply to these sponsored posts. The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) updated their Code of Ethics in March 2017 to include a section on distinguishable...

Ads must clearly be ads

Product placement and promotion has been part of Australian advertising since the advent of television and consumers have grown up understanding when content in a television programme or magazine is in fact advertising material. Social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, provide a new avenue for brands to...

The law reflects prevailing community standards on health and safety

Advertisers must ensure that there is no ambiguity when showing behaviour that would breach an Australian law. Section 2.6 of the AANA Code of Ethics requires that ‘Advertising or Marketing Communication shall not depict material contrary to Prevailing Community Standards on health and safety’. The issue of what is a '...

Increasing community scrutiny of music in ads

The upward trend in complaints about the background music played during TV ads shows viewers are listening hard and advertisers need to be aware. While some of the ads are causing a bit of a giggle online, it is important for advertisers to choose appropriate music to match their imagery to avoid any embarrassment to their...

10 most complained about ads - 1 January to 30 June 2018

Community concerns about sexually suggestive content in advertising headlines the top 10 list of most complained about advertisements to 30 June. Concerns about violence are also highlighted. So far this year Ad Standards has processed over 4,000 complaints, an increase of over 1,000 compared to the same period in 2017...

AANA Code of Ethics - section 2.2 raises the bar for advertisers

The AANA’s amendment to section 2.2 of the Code of Ethics has been welcomed by the Ad Standards Community Panel. In the first two months of the amended section’s operation, the Community Panel has considered seven advertisements under section 2.2. Ad Standards research has demonstrated that the area of sexualised images is...

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