Media releases

2016 - Most complained about ads

Ongoing community concern about discrimination and vilification is highlighted in this year’s 10 most complained about ads.

The list, released by the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB), shows seven of the 10 most complained about advertisements raised discrimination and vilification as an issue.

“Discrimination and vilification is consistently one of the most complained about issues, along with sex, sexuality and nudity,” ASB Chief Executive Officer, Ms Fiona Jolly said.

“What we can see from this list is that the community is concerned about discrimination across a range of categories, including gender, race and lifestyle choices.”

“But while discrimination and vilification were prominent, the other five issues covered under the AANA Code of Ethics were also raised in complaints received about the 10 advertisements in the list,” Ms Jolly said.

She said in 2016 two big campaigns, which were broadcast over a variety of media, were the recipients of larger numbers of complaints. This resulted in two advertisers taking up six of the spots in the top 10 list.

In 2016, three of the ten most complained about advertisements were upheld – meaning they were found to breach the AANA Code of Ethics and had to be removed or modified.

“Of the three upheld complaints one was upheld on discrimination against women, another for violence and the other was upheld for both exploitative and degrading depiction of women and inappropriate use of sex, sexuality and nudity,” Ms Jolly said.

The ASB received more than 5000 complaints about advertisements in 2016, over a third of which (1,941 complaints) were for advertisements in the list of 10 most complained about.

 

10 most complained about ads 2016

Ultra Tune Australia - 0024/16 - TV – free to air
Two women in skin tight outfits dancing with the tagline ‘we’re into rubber’.
Dismissed
No. of complaints: 418
Issues of concern: Section 2.1 - discrimination, Section 2.2 - exploitative and degrading and Section 2.4 - sex, sexuality and nudity.

Meat & Livestock Australia Ltd – 0017/16 - TV – free to air
Newsreader Lee Lin Chin gives the instruction to commence ‘Operation Boomerang’ - a mission to rescue Australians from various countries so that they will be able to eat lamb on Australia Day.
Dismissed
No. of complaints: 376
Issues of concern: Section 2.1 - discrimination, Section 2.3 - violence and Section 2.6 - health and safety.

BCF – 0434/16 - TV – free to air
Advertisement promoting boating camping and fishing gear which used the phrase ‘BCFing fun’.
Dismissed
No. of complaints: 248
Issue of concern: Section 2.5 - language

Meat & Livestock Australia Ltd – 0018/16 - Internet
Newsreader Lee Lin Chin gives the instruction to commence ‘Operation Boomerang’ - a mission to rescue Australians from various countries so that they will be able to eat lamb on Australia Day.
Dismissed
No. of complaints: 241
Issues of concern: Section 2.1 - discrimination, Section 2.3 - violence and Section 2.6 - health and safety.

Ultra Tune Australia - 0020/16 - TV – free to air
Two women are in a car which breaks down on train tracks.
Upheld
No. of complaints: 208
Issues of concern: Section 2.1 - discrimination, Section 2.2 - exploitative and degrading and Section 2.4 - sex, sexuality and nudity.

Meat & Livestock Australia Ltd – 0019/16 - Internet – Social – Other
Newsreader Lee Lin Chin gives the instruction to commence ‘Operation Boomerang’ - a mission to rescue Australians from various countries so that they will be able to eat lamb on Australia Day.
Dismissed
No. of complaints: 130
Issues of concern: Section 2.1 - discrimination, Section 2.3 - violence and Section 2.6 - health and safety.

Ultra Tune Australia - 0040/16  - TV – free to air
Two women are in a car which goes off a cliff after being put into the wrong gear.
Dismissed
No. of complaints: 113
Issues of concern: Section 2.1 - discrimination, Section 2.2 - exploitative and degrading and Section 2.4 - sex, sexuality and nudity.

Roadshow Film Distributors Pty Ltd – 0266/16  - TV – free to air
Advertising for upcoming horror movie.
Upheld
No. of complaints: 82
Issue of concern: Section 2.3 - Violence

Medibank Private Ltd0062/16 - TV – free to air
Showed different family groups and highlighted that their product would be good for all of them.
Dismissed
No. of complaints: 66
Issue of concern: Section 2.4 - sex, sexuality and nudity.

Honey Birdette0217/16 - Poster
Window poster showing woman from behind in revealing underwear.
Upheld
No. of complaints: 59
Issues of concern: Section 2.1 - discrimination, Section 2.2 - exploitative and degrading and Section 2.4 - sex, sexuality and nudity.

 

Five most complained about ads of all time

Ashley Madison - Avid Life0307/14 - TV – free to air
Married men singing ‘I’m looking for someone other than my wife’.
Dismissed (although later upheld in case 0036/15)
No of complaints: 643
Issues of concern: Section 2.1 - discrimination, Section 2.2 - exploitative and degrading and Section 2.4 - sex, sexuality and nudity.

Ultra Tune Australia - 0024/16 - TV – free to air
Two women in skin tight outfits dancing with the tagline ‘we’re into rubber’.
Dismissed
No. of complaints: 418
Issues of concern: Section 2.1 - discrimination, Section 2.2 - exploitative and degrading and Section 2.4 - sex, sexuality and nudity.

Meat & Livestock Australia Ltd – 0017/16 - Internet
Newsreader Lee Lin Chin gives the instruction to commence ‘Operation Boomerang’ - a mission to rescue Australians from various countries so that they will be able to eat lamb on Australia Day.
Dismissed
No. of complaints: 376
Issues of concern: Section 2.1 - discrimination, Section 2.3 - violence and Section 2.6 - health and safety.

Nando’s Australia Pty Ltd 156/07 - TV – free to air
Woman in business suit describes how she can't afford to have cravings at work - then we see her wearing a g-string and pole-dancing.
Dismissed
No. of complaints: 359
Issues of concern: Section 2.1 - discrimination and Section 2.4 - sex, sexuality and nudity.

Stuart Alexander & Co Pty Ltd410/06 - TV – free to air
Man's nipples get longer as he eats Mentos and he walks around town using them to do various things.
Dismissed
No. of complaints: 283
Issues of concern: Section 2.1 – discrimination, Section 2.4 - sex, sexuality and nudity and 2.6 health and safety.