Complaints about sexuality, discrimination and vilification have dominated this year’s list of consumer gripes to the Advertising Standards Board.
An ad for Ultra Tune depicting two women in skin-tight black rubber has topped the list, after the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) received more than 400 complaints about the TV spot.
Not only is the Ultra Tune spot — which features the tagline ‘We’re into rubber’ — the most complained about ad of the year, it’s also the second most complained about ad of all time.
Earlier this year, Ultra Tune executive chairman Sean Buckley defended the ad, claiming it was all in good fun.
“They’re joking, fun, humorous, have some Hollywood theatrics,” he told the ABC. “People should lighten up.”
Apparently, the ASB agrees, as all 418 complaints about the ad were dismissed.
The second most complained about ad, Meat & Livestock Australia’s anti-vegan spot starring Lee Lee Chin, garnered 376 complaints, all of which were dismissed.
In fact, only three of the top 10 most complained about ads — another Ultra Tune ad featuring two women in a car that breaks down on train tracks; a Roadshow ad for The Conjuring 2; and a poster that appeared in the windows of Honey Birdette stores — generated complaints that were actually upheld by the ASB, meaning they had to be removed or modified.
Seven of the 10 most complained about ads raised discrimination or vilification issues.
“Discrimination and vilification is consistently one of the most complained about issues, along with sex, sexuality and nudity,” ASB CEO Fiona Jolly said in a statement.
The 10 most complained about ads of 2016
1. Ultra Tune Australia (Free-to-air TV) (418 complaints, dismissed)
2. Meat & Livestock Australia Ltd (Free-to-air TV) (376 complaints, dismissed)
3. BCF (Free-to-air TV) (248 complaints, dismissed)
4. Meat & Livestock Australia Ltd (Internet) (241 complaints, dismissed)
5. Ultra Tune Australia (Free-to-air TV) (208 complaints, upheld)
6. Meat & Livestock Australia Ltd (Internet, Social, Other) (130 complaints, dismissed)
7. Ultra Tune Australia (Free-to-air TV) (113 complaints, dismissed)
8. Roadshow Film Distributors Pty Ltd (Free-to-air TV) (82 complaints, upheld)
9. Medibank Private Ltd (Free-to-air TV) (66 complaints, dismissed)
10. Honey Birdette (Poster) (59 complaints, upheld)
Of course, these are only the most complained about ads so far. There’s still time to drop a controversial ad that tops these ones, if you’re so inclined…
Do you think any of the complaints should have been upheld? Have your say in the comments below!