Ad standards reveal top 10 most complained about ads for 2015

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 14 December 2015

Ads about cheaters, bushes and betting all make the list of the Ad Standard Bureau (ASB) most complained about spots for 2015.

In 2015 the ASB received more than 4000 complaints, and the board considered more than 450 separate advertisements.
Topping the list was an ad by Holden in which a young boy says the word “bloody” in relation to caravan drivers. The ad was complained about 161 times, with some of the issues people had with the ad including being offended by the use of swearing in the ad.

“Why is it acceptable or humorous to hear kids swearing? It's not,” one complainant said.

Second on the list is last year's winner, Ashley Madison, which managed to make the list for another year for its much-hated “looking for someone other than my wife” jingle. This year the ad garnered 138 complaints, as opposed to its taking 481 complaints last year.

ASB CEO, Fiona Jolly, said: “What we can see from the list is that complainants are particularly concerned with seeing behaviour in advertisements that they view as inappropriate.”

Jolly referenced the most complained about ad noting people took issue with the young boy using bad language. “This wasn’t the only advertisement raising language concerns that featured in the list, with an advertisement for a paper towel company using the phrase ‘oh sheet’ coming in at number nine,” Jolly added.

The board found that just more than 70 advertisements breached different sections of the code this year.

Of the 10 most complained about advertisements, only one was found to breach the code.

See the top 10 list below for yourself:

Holden Ltd
TV ad features a man driving and complaining about "Bloody caravaners".
Main issue of concern: 2.5 - Language Inappropriate language
Dismissed, number of complaints: 161

Ashley Madison – Avid Life
TV ad features men singing about "looking for someone other than my wife".
Main issue of concern: 2.1 - Discrimination or Vilification Gender
Upheld, number of complaints: 138

Fantastic Snacks Australia
TV ad shows a wife licking chip flavouring off her husband’s lips.
Main issue of concern: 2.4 - Sex/sexuality/nudity - general
Dismissed, number of complaints: 85

Unicharm Australasia
TV ad features a woman in a variety of stereotypical scenarios related to having her period.
Main issue of concern:  2.1 - Discrimination or Vilification Gender
Dismissed, number of complaints: 76

Sportsbet
TV ad which features a sweaty man wiping himself at the gym.
Main issue of concern: - Other Social Values
Dismissed, number of complaints: 71

Stan
TV ad refers to a cat as a ‘big pussy’.
Main issue of concern: 2.4 - Sex/sexuality/nudity - general
Dismissed, number of complaints: 66

Unilever Australia
TV ad for a hair product which features two men kissing.
Main issue of concern: 2.4 - Sex/sexuality/nudity - general
Dismissed, number of complaints: 62

Hyundai Motor Company Australia Pty Ltd
TV ad features a woman flicking her belt at a snake.
Main issue of concern: 2.3 - Violence Cruelty to animals
Dismissed, number of complaints: 59

SCA Hygiene Australasia
TV ad featuring people saying “oh sheet”.
Main issue of concern: 2.5 - Language Inappropriate language
Dismissed, number of complaints: 56

Edgewell
TV ad features three women trimming bonsai plants in front of their crotches.
Main issue of concern: 2.4 - Sex/sexuality/nudity - general
Dismissed, number of complaints: 53

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