REVEALED: The most complained about ads of 2016

The Advertising Standards Bureau has released a list of the ads which received the most amount of complaints in 2016.

Ads from Ultra Tune, Meat & Livestock Australia, BCF, Medibank Private, Honey Birdette and Roadshow film distributors all made the list, with a majority of the complaints listing 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.


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“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.”

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.

10 most complained about ads of 2016:

1. Ultra Tune Australia TV ad
Two women in skin tight outfits dancing with the tagline ‘we’re into rubber’.
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.

2. Meat & Livestock Australia TV ad
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.
No. of complaints: 376
Issues of concern: Section 2.1 – discrimination, Section 2.3 – violence and Section 2.6 – health and safety.

3. BCF TV ad
Advertisement promoting boating camping and fishing gear which used the phrase ‘BCFing fun’.
No. of complaints: 248
Issue of concern: Section 2.5 – language

4. Meat & Livestock Australia Internet ad
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.
No. of complaints: 241
Issues of concern: Section 2.1 – discrimination, Section 2.3 – violence and Section 2.6 – health and safety.

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

6. Meat & Livestock Australia Internet / Social ad
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.
No. of complaints: 130
Issues of concern: Section 2.1 – discrimination, Section 2.3 – violence and Section 2.6 – health and safety.

7. Ultra Tune Australia TV ad
Two women are in a car which goes off a cliff after being put into the wrong gear.
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.

8. Roadshow Film Distributors TV ad
Advertising for upcoming horror movie.
No. of complaints: 82 – Upheld
Issue of concern: Section 2.3 – Violence

9. Medibank Private TV ad
Showed different family groups and highlighted that their product would be good for all of them.
No. of complaints: 66
Issue of concern: Section 2.4 – sex, sexuality and nudity.

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

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