Paddy Power, Moneysupermarket and Maltesers are among a list of brands whose ads caused a stir in 2016, as consumers kicked back against twerking businessman in hot pants and a couple getting steamy in the bedroom.
All three brands feature in a list compiled by the Advertising Standard Authority (ASA), which today (19 January) revealed the top ten most complained about ads of last year.
All ten ads were complained about on the grounds of offence, which contrasts with the fact that more than 70% of the complaints the ASA receives are about misleadingness. However, none of the ads crossed the line between bad taste and offence, which meant none on the list were banned.
Moneysupermarket dominated the overall list with three entries in the top five, including the number one spot for the second year running. Together the three ads gave rise to just under 2,500 complaints to the ASA.
Paddy Power also saw more than one ad reach the top ten, and Match.com saw its ad featuring two women kissing receive over 800 complaints.
Completing the rest of the list was Smart Energy’s ad featuring cartoon characters Gaz and Leccy, the Home Office’s ‘Disrespect Nobody’ ad about domestic violence, a series of ads for Gourmet Burger Kitchen, which made references to giving up vegetarianism, and Maltesers' first stab at diverse representation, which featured a woman in a wheelchair chatting about a sexual encounter.
Take a look at some of the offending adverts below.
1. Moneysupermarket.com (1,063 complaints – not upheld)
2. Moneysupermarket.com (898 complaints – not upheld)
3. Match.com (896 complaints – not upheld)
The following brands make up the top 10...
4. Moneysupermarket.com (503 complaints – not upheld)
5. Paddy Power (450 complaints - not upheld)
6. Smart Energy (253 complaints - not upheld)
7. Paddy Power (220 complaints - not upheld)
8. Home Office (216 complaints - not upheld)
9. Gourmet Burger Kitchen (195 complaints - not upheld)
10. Maltesers (151 complaints - not upheld)