Thursday, May 10, 2007

UK's most controversial ads of 2006

+ The British ASA has released the top 10 most controversial ads of 2006. They include:

1. Gay Police Association: 553 complaints - upheld
A national press ad pictured a Bible - in order to highlight a religious motivation behind homophobic incidents. Attracting complaints from such bodies as Christian Watch and the Evangelical Alliance Christian groups, the ad was perceived as offensive to Christians and discriminatory in tone.

2. HM Revenues and Customs: 271 complaints - not upheld
A national press ad depicting what appeared to be a self-employed plumber evading tax by hiding under the kitchen sink. The ad attracted complaints from a number of organisations and members of the public who considered that the ad implied self-employed people - plumbers in particular - were tax-evaders and was thus both misleading and offensive.

3. Dolce & Gabbana: 166 complaints - upheld
D&G's national press ad attracted complaints from those concerned about its glamorisation of knives and violence. One of the ads had appeared opposite a news article about a knife crime.

4. Motorola Ltd: 160 complaints - not upheld
Complainants protested that this national press ad for a mobile phone was offensive and irresponsible, condoning knife-related violence and glamorising sexual violence.

5. Carphone Warehouse: 145 complaints - upheld
Complaints were received from competitors and members of the public about the lack of clarity and the potentially misleading statements in television and national press campaign, mostly its "free forever" claim.

6. French Connection Group plc: 127 complaints - not justified
French Connection's television ad featured a martial-arts contest between two women, symbolising the competition between fashion and style, which concluded with a kiss.

7. Channel 5 Broadcasting Ltd t/a Five US: 99 complaints - not upheld
Channel 5's strikingly simple poster campaign was deemed by a number of people as racist towards Americans and socially irresponsible in that it could incite racial violence.

8. Kellogg Company of GB Ltd: 96 complaints - not upheld
Objections to a Kellogg's television ad featuring a man riding a dog, claimed that it portrayed cruelty to animals and would encourage viewers to try the same stunt at home.

9. National Federation of Cypriots: 93 complaints - upheld
This regional press advertising feature drew complaints from a human rights organisation, concerned it was offensive to the Turkish community and likely to incite racial hatred.

10. Dolce & Gabbana: 89 complaints - not upheld
Complaints into D&G's television ad, which showed a brief kiss between two males, ranged from protestations that it was unsuitable for children to objections that ads showing two men kissing were unacceptable at any time.

Read the entire report here [opens PDF].

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