Media releases

The most complained about ads of the decade

The ten most complained about advertisements this decade covers an eclectic mix of ads across the wide range of social issues covered by the advertising Codes administered by Ad Standards.

The number of complaints has progressively increased over the decade reflecting increasing community awareness of the value of Australia’s system of advertising self-regulation.

Complaints are adjudicated by the Ad Standards Community Panel which includes people from a broad range of age groups and backgrounds and is gender balanced, and as far as possible representative of the diversity of Australian society.

Advertising self-regulation relies on the support of the advertising industry through cooperation with the complaints process and compliance with Community Panel decisions. Ad Standards works actively to support advertisers to meet the standards set out in the Codes which benefits the community and businesses themselves.
 

1. 0116/18 – Sportsbet – TV – Free-to-air
A man is seen naked from the waist up and appears to be manscaping.
Upheld
Number of complaints: 793
Issues of concern: 2.1 – Discrimination or vilification, 2.2 – Exploitative or degrading, 2.3 – Violence, 2.4 – Sex/sexuality/nudity.

2. 0036/15– Ashley Madison – Avid Life – TV – Free-to-air
TV ad featuring  married men singing ‘I'm looking for someone other than my wife’.
Upheld
Number of complaints: 781
Issues of concern: 2.1 – Discrimination or vilification, 2.2 – Exploitative or degrading, 2.4 – Sex/sexuality/nudity.

3. 0262/19 - Asaleo Care – Libra – TV – Free to Air
Various period-related visuals appear on screen promoting the #bloodnormal campaign.
Dismissed
Number of complaints: 738
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.

4. 0113/18 – iSelect – TV – Free-to-air
A woman aggressively hits a piñata in front of a group of children.
Upheld
Number of complaints: 716
Issues of concern: 2.1 – Discrimination or vilification, 2.3 – Violence, 2.6 – Health and safety.

5. 0042/17 – Ultra Tune Australia – TV – Free-to-air
Two women are driving a car when the muffler falls off and starts a fire. They produce fire extinguishers and attempt to stop the fire, before leaping away as the car explodes.
Dismissed
Number of complaints: 421
Issues of concern: 2.1 - Discrimination or vilification, 2.2 - Exploitative or degrading, 2.4 - Sex/sexuality/nudity, 2.6 - Health and safety.

6. 0024/16 – Ultra Tune Australia – TV – Free-to-air
Two women fully dressed in skin-tight rubber outfits with very low cleavages. They look seductively at the camera and dance around. The ad says "We're into rubber”.
Dismissed
Number of complaints: 419
Issues of concern: 2.1 - Discrimination or vilification, 2.2 – Exploitative or degrading, 2.4 -Sex/sexuality/nudity.

7. 0017/16 – Meat and Livestock Australia LTD – TV – Free-to-air
The basis of the ad is to bring Australians home from other countries for Australia Day to have lamb chops on the barbeque.
Dismissed
Number of complaints: 376
Issues of concern: 2.1 - Discrimination or vilification, 2.3 – Violence, 2.6 - Health and safety.

8. 0261-19 – Sportsbet – TV – Free-to-air
Protestors, a scam victim and Todd Carney are all promoting the Sportsbet app in stereotypical situations.
Dismissed
Number of complaints: 366
Issues of concern: 2.1- Discrimination or vilification, 2.4 - Sex/sexuality/nudity, 2.5- Language, Wagering Code.

9. 0423/17– Youfoodz – TV – Free-to-air
Child believed to be impersonating Gordon Ramsey selling a ready-made food.
Upheld
Number of complaints: 307
Issues of concern: 2.5 – Language, 2.6 - Health and safety.

10. 0461/17– NEDS – TV – Free-to-air
A man receives a telemarketing call during dinner and tells his partner it’s the office. He then moves to another room and asks the telemarketer to repeat their pitch whilst he uses the Ned’s app.
Dismissed
Number of complaints: 307
Issues of concern: 2.6 - Health and safety, Wagering Code.