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 sexually exploitative content. All but two of the ads were seen on free-to-air TV.
 

For the first time, three different advertisements from one advertiser are amongst the top five of the most complained about ads. Complainants raised numerous concerns across the wide range of social issues covered by Australia’s advertising Codes including sexualised content, gender stereotypes, vilification, the use of sexual appeal, encouraging bad language, as well as promoting an unhealthy lifestyle.
 

The most complained about ad of the year so far is a Baywatch themed automotive ad with complaints ranging from sexism, to nudity and health and safety.

In total, 1,747 complaints have been lodged to 30 June, with community concerns raised about 206 advertisements assessed against one or more issues under the Codes and Initiatives administered by Ad Standards.
 

Of these, 14 advertisements were subsequently withdrawn from broadcast with advertisers choosing to modify or remove the content complained about, showing a commitment to compliance and supporting Australia’s system of advertising self-regulation. 

 

  1. 0051/20 – Ultra Tune Australia – TV – Free-to-air
    The advertisement features Pamela Anderson and Warwick Capper in a Baywatch style ad.
    Dismissed
    Number of complaints: 309
    Issues of concern: 2.1 – Discrimination or vilification, 2.2 – Exploitative or degrading, 2.3 – Violence, 2.4 – Sex/sexuality/nudity, 2.6 – Health and safety, 2.7 – Distinguishable advertising
     

  2. 0001/20 – Yum Restaurants International – TV – Free-to-air
    The advertisement shows a young girl looking into the window of a car to see her reflection. The window winds down to reveal a mother and two sons in the car.
    Dismissed
    Number of complaints: 187
    Issues of concern: 2.1 – Discrimination or vilification, 2.2 – Exploitative or degrading, 2.4 – Sex/sexuality/nudity
     

  3. 0130/20 – Yum Restaurants International – TV – Free-to-air
    The advertisement depicts the awkward moment a boy tells a girl whilst laying in bed that he loves her and she replies with ‘thank you’.
    Dismissed
    Number of complaints: 66
    Issues of concern: 2.1 – Discrimination or vilification, 2.2 – Exploitative or degrading, 2.4 – Sex/sexuality/nudity
     

  4. 0002/20 – Yum Restaurants International – TV – Free-to-air
    The advertisement shows a student completing an exam. He sees his friends outside with KFC and says ‘bucket’ whilst leaving the exam to join his friends.
    Dismissed
    Number of complaints: 41
    Issues raised: 2.1 – Discrimination or vilification, 2.5 – Language, Food and Beverages Code – 2.2, QSRI – 1.1
     

  5. 0068/20 – Pretty Little Thing – TV – Free-to-air
    The television advertisement shows model Gabby Epstein posing in various clothes in a beach setting.
    Dismissed
    Number of complaints: 14
    Issues raised: 2.2 – Exploitative or degrading, 2.4 – Sex/sexuality/nudity
     

  6. 0004/20 – AHM Health Insurance – TV – Free-to-air
    The television advertisement shows former Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds in a studio filming an ad. When a prop falls behind him and an assistant goes to pick it up, Andrew shoulder charges him.
    Upheld
    Number of complaints: 13
    Issues raised: 2.3 – Violence
     

  7. 0185/20 – ReAmped Energy – TV – On demand
    The TV on demand advertisement shows various toys speaking in a young girl’s bedroom. 
    Dismissed
    Number of complaints: 9
    Issues raised: 2.5 – Language
     

  8. 0078/20 – Universal Pictures – TV – Free-to-air
    The television advertisement features scenes from the movie ‘The Invisible Man’.
    Dismissed
    Number of complaints: 8
    Issues raised: 2.3 – Violence
     

  9. 0111/20 – Creative Content Australia – TV – Pay TV
    This Pay TV community awareness advertisement shows a young man in a police interview room with a detective and officer reporting that he has been hacked.
    Dismissed
    Number of complaints: 8
    Issues raised: 2.1 – Discrimination or vilification, 2.6 – Health and safety
     

  10. 0100/20 – Sportsbet – TV – Free-to-air
    The advertisement features a scene similar to fencing at the Olympics, but the contestants are using towels. A remark is made by one of the commentators of the event that one of the contestants are “nearly as whipped as Prince Harry”.
    Upheld
    Number of complaints: 7
    Issues: 2.1 – Discrimination or vilification, 2.6 – Health and safety
     

4 comment

  • Ad Standards - 28 September 2020 - 9:12am

    Hi Margaret, thanks for reaching out. If you are not satisfied with the response from the broadcaster, you can send your complaint to The ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) via the following link - https://www.acma.gov.au/broadcasting-complaint-form

  • Margaret Brown - 27 September 2020 - 8:48pm

    I have already complained to Channel 7 about the constant bombardment with gambling/betting ads - result? They have increased them. Now children watching tv in the morning???? are being led to believe that betting is a normal part of life & everyone does it - very wrong - should only show those ads after 9pm

  • Ad Standards - 9 September 2020 - 12:17pm

    Hi Arthur, thanks for your comment. Complaints about the timing and frequency of television adverts can be made to the broadcaster that aired the advertisement. However, if you believe the content of the advertisement breaches community standards, you can lodge a complaint through our website >> https://adstandards.com.au/lodge-complaint

  • Arthur Humphreys - 9 September 2020 - 11:26am

    Channel 7 News. Monday 7 Sept. Between 6.20 and 6.56pm.there were 10 adverts for gambling. On Tues 8 Sept between
    6.20 and 6.54pm there were 11 adverts for gambling. Last Friday 4 Sept there were 10 adverts during the same time.
    With more people unemployed this is a time when people can ill afford to spend money on gambling. There should be a limit of gambling adverts per day and only after 9pm.

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