Significant seven: most complained about ads
Over the next few days, we are publishing highlights from this year’s Mumbrella Annual.
1 Rip & Roll, Queensland Association for Health Communities
The most complained about ad this year was a poster showing two men hugging, one of them holding a condom packet. The ad received 222 complaints, most of them made by the Australian Christian Lobby, Adshel copped flack – including a street protest outside its offices – for taking the ads down and was lambasted for being homophobic. Ad Standards dismissed the complaints.
2 Energy Watch
Is it amazing that this ad ever made it out of a drunk creative’s dream let alone on to television. The ad was banned after receiving 75 complaints for depicting Indian people as shifty door knockers.
With 58 complaints, a billboard by Islamic group MyPeace that carried the words “Jesus – a prophet of Islam” was ranked third by the ASB. The complaints were dismissed, although some noted it was hard to see how an ad this provocative could be motivated by a desire for peace and understanding.
4. Essential Beauty Franchising
Using spoonerisms to dodge trouble, the TV ad featured Mary Huff, who had a ‘fairy horrest’ growing from her ‘nimpy skickers’ and sought the help of Essential Beauty to ‘fax her wanny’. And dodge it did, as ASB dismissed the 44 complaints.
5 General Pants
Clothing chain General Pants was found guilty, after 37 complaints, of running a billboard with an image of a female model wearing nothing but black tape over her nipples and a guy stooped behind her to unzip her jeans with the word ‘Sex!’ writ large in the background.
Supre’s TV ad for its jeggings, in which a suspiciously young girl frolics in her bedroom, at one point thrusting her rear at the viewer, were deemed not to objectify women. The 27 complaints were dismissed.
7 The Tool Shop
The Tool Shop was found guilty of objectifying women with a billboard of three female tradies pictured next to the line “Imagine all three at once? We can.” They’d all slap you in the face, Tool Shop.
- This list first appeared in the Mumbrella Annual, which is currently on sale priced at $10 for access to the digital edition or $20 for both print and digital access.
- Both can be ordered through Realview, via this link