ASA Unveils the 2012 TV Ads that Received the Most Public Complaints

The Advertising Standards Authority has today revealed the Top Ten ads of 2012 that received the most public complaints.

Topping the list (1,008 complaints) was Gocompare.com, which featured former footballer Stuart "Psycho" Pearce kicking a football into the opera singer named Compario (a character who has driven many people to distraction). Nevertheless, the ASA ruled the ad was not 'offensive, irresponsible or harmful', because it was 'not explicit or gruesome' and would be seen as 'light-hearted and comical'.

Gocompare also achieved second place (797 complaints) with Sue Barker wielding a rocket launcher. The ASA again ruled however that the ad was not 'offensive or harmful' because it showed 'over the top and fantastical behaviour' and would be seen as 'light-hearted and comical'. They also noted that Compario was shown as not harmed at the end of the ad.

Third place went to Asda (620 complaints) for its ad displaying a frazzled mother carrying out Christmas tasks while her family lazily looked on. While many people were outraged that the ad was sexist, the ASA ruled that it would not be banned as it reflected Asda's view of the Christmas experience for a significant number of its customers.

Further listings of the Top Ten (including video clips) can be viewed at Marketingweek.co.uk.

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