Most complained about ads in 2014

Preliminary statistics show that around 5600 complaints about advertisements were received in 2014 by the Advertising Standards Bureau.

The most complained about ads from this year were:

1. 0307/14 Ashley Madison - Avid Life
TV ad featuring  married men singing ‘I'm looking for someone other than my wife’.
Dismissed. Number of complaints: 481

2. 0277/14 My Plates
TV ad featuring a man repeatedly passing wind in a car.
Dismissed. Number of complaints: 250

3. 0178/14 Menulog
TV ad featuring a Da Vinci character painting the last supper.
Dismissed. Number of complaints: 228

4. 0276/14 My Plates
TV ad featuring a man picking his nose and wiping it on a car door.
Dismissed. Number of complaints: 206

5. 0069/14 Johnson & Johnson Pacific Pty Ltd
TV ad highlighting embarrassing menstrual experiences.
Dismissed. Number of complaints: 185

6. 0201/14 Ultra Tune Australia
TV ad featuring two women wearing rubber visiting a tyre store.
Dismissed. Number of complaints: 181

7. 0281/14 My Plates
TV ad featuring a man picking his nose and wiping it on a car door, his finger is pixelated.
Dismissed. Number of complaints: 180

8. 0438/14 Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses
Billboard pictures a horse lying on its side and the words ‘Is the party really worth it?’
Dismissed. Number of complaints: 152

9. 0087/14 Johnson & Johnson Pacific Pty Ltd
TV ad highlighting different embarrassing menstrual experiences.
Dismissed. Number of complaints: 146

10. 0014/14 Meat and Livestock Australia
TV ad featuring Sam Kekovich promoting the consumption of lamb on Australia Day.
Dismissed. Number of complaints: 80

For more information, and a look at the most complained about ads of all time take a look at the media release.


27 comment

  • Ad Standards - 10 August 2015 - 11:11am

    Please contact Channel 7 and Channel 10 with your queries about their decision to not accept the advertisement.

  • C Willoughby - 9 August 2015 - 11:18pm

    Can you please tell me why 7 and 10 have banned the "the consequences of redefining marriage"ad,
    1. What has happened to the right of free speech?
    2. Less than 2% of Australians identify as homosexual(Australian Bureau of statistics)So why give them such a strong voice but not the 98% that don't identify as homosexual
    3. I am truly astounded that you would not air the ad that basically just asked people to really think about the consequences of changing the marriage act. Yet you will advertise a Cougars tempting people to have a flings/affairs, things that usually lead to breaking up of relationships, and leave the children to suffer adults selfish actions, how do you sleep at night???

    4. Marriage is something that has underpinned all societies since time began.

    I strongly urge you to pressure 7 and 10 to reconcider
    C Willoughby

  • Cameron Cash - 6 August 2015 - 10:56am

    I am disgusted to be sitting here with my wife watching TV and this advert comes on ASHLEY MADISON "I wanna be with some one other than my wife"
    How is this appropriate for Australian TV.
    Marriage is a legally binding contract between two people and it is suddenly OK to air this condoning a breach of that contract?
    Many women suffer with insecurities for many reasons and this could have a disastrous effect on their mental health, make matters worse and deminish any trust they may have.
    Shame on you for allowing this

  • Tracey Wheeler - 22 May 2015 - 8:25am

    I have just sent in a complaint regarding the Rebel Wilson ad for Stan where she is talking about her big pussy. I the. Read the results of the latest complaints to find that all complaints had been dismissed. No complaints were upheld.

  • Ad Standards - 27 April 2015 - 1:40pm

    In response to Diana (27 April 2015)
    Hi Dianna,
    If you think this ad is in breach of any of the Codes and Initiatives (, you can lodge a complaint on our website (

  • D. Ott - 27 April 2015 - 11:35am

    It is a pity that this ad is demeaning and belittling of the excellent hospital system which we have here in Tasmania. The patient appears as greyed out with no assistance or family present, ill and fatigued. The hospital is represented as an inhospitable place, devoid of care. Then the contrast is a home nursing scenario of family, friends and a one to one nurse. This ad is definitely misleading and deceptive. Leaving the first section of this con-mercial out altogether would improve the image considerably!

  • Tia Nelsen - 11 April 2015 - 3:26pm

    My comment's about a paper Shaver Shop advertising blurb that was in my mailbox yesterday. There's a before & & after shot of a man allengedly using a Philips "Body Groom". The 'before' shot is of a very overweight, very hairy man in a dull old bathroom. The 'after' shot is of a really good looking, physically fit and attractive man in a modern and clean bathroom. Where exactly does 'advertising' stop and 'lying' begin?

  • Ad Standards - 10 March 2015 - 8:24am

    In response to Lee Jones (7 March 2015)
    This case ( has recently been considered by the Board and the advertisement has been found to breach the AANA Code of Ethics ( on the grounds it was degrading to wives. The advertisement will now be discontinued.

  • Lee Jones - 7 March 2015 - 1:55am

    In response to ASB Has No Standards or Moral Compass (7 January 2015)
    I am completely in agreement with you. The Ashley Madison ad is an intrusion into my home at night. I don't care that it is on after 11. Ie "safe viewing time". My daughter actually asked whether her daddy was "looking for someone other than "you mummy?'

    To Matt who shallowly says: "people get over it... It shows guitly consciences". Clearly Matt has not been in a relationship where his partner has cheated. Therefore, he would understand how the elephant in the room - the sleazy ad in question - just brings up the original pain, anger and humiliation of finding a partner has been cheating.

    Today both men and women have multitudes of avenues to cheat. The internet and social media has just made it easier to meet people to cheat with. So, I do not need to SEE this kind of ad in my home, at night, and especially when a child asks a question like that. Get. It. Off. I actually change channel when I see it, and have started to watch television ONLINE so I am not annoyed by multitudes of ads, but in particular, THAT ONE.

  • Ad Standards - 3 March 2015 - 8:10am

    In response to Charmaine (2 March 2015)
    In all cases, the Board considers whether an advertisement breaches the AANA Code of Ethics ( or other relevant code or initiative. If an advertisement is found to not breach a code then complaints are dismissed. When complaints are upheld an advertisement must be withdrawn or modified. In 2014 just over 60 advertisements were found to breach the code, although none of these were the 10 most complained about advertisements.

  • Charmaine - 2 March 2015 - 9:06pm

    Err, this is not a reply to anything, just a question. Am I reading this website right? It says that of the ten most complained about ads, all of them were dismissed. Does this mean the complaints were dismissed or the ads were dismissed. I am thinking that if you have found in favour of the ads 10/10 then ASB ISnot actually an unbiased regulatory body is it. Or I could be wrong. Please explain

  • Ad Standards - 27 February 2015 - 8:53am

    In response to GG (26 February 2015)
    Anyone who finds an advertisement offensive or contrary to community standards on health and safety can make a complaint to Ad Standards. In the past people have complained about advertisements which utilise religious themes.

  • GG - 26 February 2015 - 8:44pm

    Why does this group have no interest in religious advertising?? I just saw an add on channel10 for Sientology! What's next advertising to join the muslim brotherhood. It is discussting that no complaints board has any info or way to complain about religious advertising!!!!

  • ASB Has No Standards or Moral Compass - 7 February 2015 - 2:19am

    In response to Mark (14 January 2015)
    I think we banned smoking ads and alcohol adds because of the addiction caused. Is promiscuity so different. Repeated advertising influencing what people consume. That is why its exists...

  • ASB Has No Standards or Moral Compass - 7 February 2015 - 2:16am

    In response to Ad Standards (30 January 2015)
    Its isn't a person's ethnicity but their character that matters. It is easy to fill seats on your committee based upon ethnicity but not a proper sense of right and wrong.

  • ASB Has No Standards or Moral Compass - 7 February 2015 - 2:13am

    I can't believe the Ashley Madison ad was dismissed either. It is the combination of the lack of a well formed moral conscience of those who are on Advertising Standard's Bureau committee that judges these things and faulty legislation. The porn industry is moving into the main street and the ASD is aiding it. My skin crawls as I think of the number of marriages and relationships that are wrecked by these ads and those men who obviously go onto their site. Shame on you ASD and your lack of any sense of a conscience. You are encouraging lies and commercial sex addiction. What use are you to us?

  • Dushka Xu - 31 January 2015 - 1:22am

    In response to Ad Standards (30 January 2015)
    If you are representative of the Australian community, then please explain how it is that every single complaint has been dismissed. It is statistically impossible that not one of the 2089 complaints fell within your 'standards' guidelines sufficiently to be upheld. I am intrigued - what is your purpose? The advertising industry is perfectly capable of dismissing all public concerns. Given this is all you have managed to do, are you not completely redundant?

  • Ad Standards - 30 January 2015 - 9:09am

    In response to Lauren (29 January 2015)
    In selecting members to the Board, great care is taken to ensure that the diversity of the Australian community is represented. Board member profiles are available on our website:

  • Lauren - 29 January 2015 - 11:09pm

    Someone please explain how it is a victory that the most complained about ads had the complaints dismissed in review by a supposedly representative body that includes only two (out of twenty) persons who are not white ("Caucasian"). It is disgusting that there is neither Indigenous Australians, nor more than one member who is Asian, despite Australian population demographics and ethnic distribution. Remind me again how this board could ever determine community standards.

  • Mark - 14 January 2015 - 8:38pm

    Geez, sounds like there's some fragile marriages out there. Or guilty consciences perhaps... Get over yourselves people.

  • Ad Standards - 13 January 2015 - 11:00am

    In response to Trevor (12 January 2015)
    People concerned about e-cigarette products and the health effects can take their concerns to the State or Territory health department which will have information about the legal aspects of the product. People who believe the advertisement encourages and/or glamourises smoking should lodge a complaint with us.

  • Trevor - 12 January 2015 - 10:23pm

    Look the late night viewing I dont really have a problem with, the ads have always been dodgy after 11pm. And the cheating ads are just a new one of the same old stuff.

    But my big complaint is the VAPING, and e-cigarettes being advertised during Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It carries a G Classification. It started at 8.30pm and the first vaping ad I saw was around 9pm, and again just now at 10.15pm. Vaping is a method of nicotine intake, and as I understand it is considered to be a poison under Victoria's laws. I dont know who to complain to.

  • Jennifer - 11 January 2015 - 1:58am

    Totally disgusted how commercial free to air television can promote such offensive advertising. It should not be aliowed to be played. Marriage is an biblical oath to not cheat. Don't get married! Ohh but it's not illegal to cheat on your wife. Next they will be advertising children for sex. No moral standards. Absolutely revolting. I too will never again watch channel one or ten. Sick to death of what Television has become with perverted commercials and infomercial crap

  • Clare Hamment - 11 January 2015 - 1:52am

    I just saw the ad again on channel 9, about 12.10 am 9/02/2015. I can't believe the case against Ashley Madison got dismissed. It was the highest voted advertisement to be complained about, but that doesn't seem to matter. Anyway I lodged another complaint which will probably get dismissed as well! We will have to wait and see! Someone has to recognise how immoral this ad is.

  • Joanne Trent darby - 7 January 2015 - 8:12pm

    I had to see the Ashley Maddison ad twice to believe what I was hearing / seeing ,I think it's disgusting ,I think no amount of money they are paying your network ( shame on you channel 9) is worth such scum ,there is plenty of ways sleaze buckets looking for this sort of shit can get this info without me having to be subjected to seeing and hearing it , good luck to the people running Ashely cause there is a special place in hell for your sort , and the blokes looking for someone who is not there wife ,do your wife a favour and ................

  • Sal - 5 January 2015 - 11:59pm

    In response to Trent (4 January 2015)
    I agree, I was just watching channel ONE (Network ten) and couldn't believe my eyes that this was advertised during an 11pm home show. Disgusting!

    I have a Nielsen TV box, so what I watch counts towards viewer numbers/ratings. I will NOT be watching related channels again.

    There have been almost 500 complaints in 2014 which have been responded with one word 'dismissed'. Under section 2 of the AANA code of ethics, this ad is degrading and does not treat sexual relationships with sensitivity. FreeTV claims to show ads that are decent...I think not.

    The content is highly offensive, as demonstrated by the quote you mentioned Trent. That quote says it all... it's sick. Very disappointing.

  • trent - 4 January 2015 - 1:27am

    I am discusted to be sitting here with my wife watching TV and this advert comes on ASHLEY MADISON "I wanna be with some one other than my wife"
    How is this appropriate for Australian TV.
    Marriage is a legally binding contract between two people and it is suddenly OK to air this condoning a breach of that contract?
    Many women suffer with insecurities for many reasons and this could have a disastrous effect on their mental health, make matters worse and deminish any trust they may have.
    Shame on you for allowing this

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