Most complained about theme in ads this winter: sex

The most complained about theme in ads between June and August this year was sex, according to figures from the Ad Standards Bureau.

The portrayal of sex, sexuality and nudity received just under half of all complaints in the three month period this winter.

These complaints were mainly directed towards the Rip & Roll campaign for the Queensland Association of Healthy Communities, which led to a PR uproar for outdoor media company Adshel in June.

The campaign has run longer than originally intended after Adshel’s rival JCDecaux agreed to run the campaign at a discounted rate for the gay safe sex group.

Rip & Roll was also the most complained about ad between January to 30 June, although a large number of them were made by the Australian Christian Lobby, which complained repeatedly using a number of different identities.

All complaints against the campaign were dismissed by the ASB, which insisted that it was strongly in favour of the health message in the ad even though “some members of the community would prefer not to see this issue advertised”.

The same campaign also drew the highest proportion of complaints – 30% – about discrimination and vilification. Complaints about violence and health and safety attracted just 8% and 6%, respectively.

An ad for Energy Watch received the second most complaints. The ad was banned for for racial discrimination.

The third most complained about ad this winter was a poster for My Peace stating “Jesus a prophet of Islam”. The ad was permitted to run.



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