Ad watchdog's top list of most complained about ads

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 7 July 2016

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA)'s controversial ‘Operation Boomerang’ ad has made the list of the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) most complained about spots so far for 2016.

Between January and June the ASB received more than 3200 complaints, with most coming in about ads from MLA, Ultra Tune and Roadshow films.

MLA’s high profile Australia Day ad came under fire for depicting a vegan’s bowl of kale being set alight, in what was called “violence” towards vegans and also for racial insensitivity.

Collectively, the ad received more than 740 complaints, with one complainant saying the ad is “discriminatory” against vegans and Indigenous Australians. Despite the uproar, the ASB dismissed the complaints.

It made the most complained list three times for the same ad across separate mediums, including free-to-air TV, internet and social media.

Not surprisingly, the most complained about ads came from Ultra Tune, with four of its spots making the list. The automotive service company is regularly featured on the ASB for its “demeaning” representation of women.

Topping the list was an ad starring its infamous rubber-clad women with tagline “we’re into rubber”. The ad was complained about 418 times, with audiences taking offence to its vilification of women.

One complainant says: “The women are shown in an openly sexual way, as tarts, with exaggerated lips and revealing clothing and most suggestive of rubber sex dolls – worst of all they are represented as stupid.”

Despite the backlash Ultra Tune continues to face for its representation of women, only one of its four ads were upheld by the ASB.

In the list, seven ads were seen on free-to-air TV, one was a poster, one was seen on social media and another was an internet advertisement.

Check out the list below

10 most complained about ads - January to June 2016

Ultra Tune Australia
Two women in skin tight outfits dancing with the tagline ‘we’re into rubber’.
TV – free to air
Dismissed
No. of complaints: 418

Meat & Livestock Australia

Newsreader Lee Lin Chin promotes gives the instruction to commence ‘Operation Boomerang’ - a recovery mission of rescuing Australians from various countries so that they will be able to eat lamb on Australia Day.
TV – free to air
Dismissed
No. of complaints: 376

Meat & Livestock Australia
Newsreader Lee Lin Chin promotes gives the instruction to commence ‘Operation Boomerang’ - a recovery mission of rescuing Australians from various countries so that they will be able to eat lamb on Australia Day.
Internet
Dismissed
No. of complaints: 241

Ultra Tune Australia
Two women are in a car which breaks down on train tracks.
TV – free to air
Upheld
No. of complaints: 208

Meat & Livestock Australia Ltd
Newsreader Lee Lin Chin promotes gives the instruction to commence ‘Operation Boomerang’ - a recovery mission of rescuing Australians from various countries so that they will be able to eat lamb on Australia Day.
Internet-Social-Other
Dismissed
No. of complaints: 130

Ultra Tune Australia
Two women are in a car which goes off a cliff after being put into the wrong gear.
TV – free to air
Dismissed
No. of complaints: 101

Roadshow Film Distributors Pty Ltd
Advertising for upcoming horror movie.
TV – free to air
Upheld
No. of complaints: 80

Medibank Private Ltd

It showed different family groups and highlighted that their product would be good for all of them.
TV – free to air
Dismissed
No. of complaints: 66

Honey Birdette

Window poster showing woman from behind in revealing underwear.
Poster
Upheld
No. of complaints: 59

Ultra Tune Australia
Two women in tight black suits play with tennis balls.
TV – free to air
Dismissed
No. of complaints: 54

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at adnews@yaffa.com.au

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

comments powered by Disqus