ASA reveals 2012’s top 10 most complained about ads


He’s had a controversial career in the footballing world, but it’s Stuart Pearce’s appearance in a Go Compare advert that has seen him top the Advertising Standards Authority’s list of most complained about adverts in 2012.

The advert, which drew 1,008 complaints, sees Pearce booting a ball into the stomach of the ever-irritating Gio Compario.

However, despite the reaction Pearce’s actions prompted, the ASA found no reason to uphold any complaints.

Go Compare must know what it’s doing in terms of annoying viewers; it also secured second place with 797 people complaining about Sue Barker launching a rocket at Compario.

The ASA’s annual report claims that it received around 31,298 complaints about 18,990 adverts last year. Among the chief aggressors are financial services, with complaints rising by 86 per cent.

The top 10 is below:

1. – Stuart Pearce (1,008 complaints, not upheld)

2. – Sue Barker (797 complaints, not upheld)

3. Asda – Christmas mum (620 complaints, not upheld)

4. Channel 4 – My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding (373 complaints, upheld in part)

Big Fat Gypsy Weddings poster

5. Kerry Foods – Richmond Ham (371 complaints, upheld in part)

6. Paddy Power – Ladies Day (311 complaints, out of remit)

=8. Kellogg’s – Snake (234 complaints, not upheld)

=8. Morrison’s – Christmas 2012 (234 complaints, not upheld)

9. Kayak Software Corporation – Brain surgery (189 complaints, upheld in part)

10. St John Ambulance – First aid (144 complaints, not upheld)

(Sources: ASA, MediaGuardian, Marketing Week)




“Before we all sink into a slough of digital dystopian despair, it might be worth considering this: is this a sign of the strength, not weakness, of revelatory journalism in the digital age?”

Charlie Beckett, director of POLIS at the London School of Economics, reacts to news that the UK government forced the Guardian into destroying hard drives that contained information leaked by Edward Snowden.

(Source: POLIS)


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