Presenting the year’s most complained about advertisements – but were you actually offended? 42



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In a world where Donald Trump could become president and selfies are considered a hobby, there is plenty to be offended about. Now the Advertising Standards Bureau has released this year’s list of the most complained about ads, with some unexpected inclusions.

1. Many over 60s enjoy life as grey nomads, but this television advertisement got caravaners hot under the collar. Although it’s unclear why, since the offending line “bloody caravaners” is uttered by a… caravaner!

2. The dark side of dating website Ashley Madison was revealed this year, following a hack which identified members online. Like its website, Ashley Madison ads were equally offensive, especially with that controversial cheaters’ anthem.

3. A sloppy kiss between husband and wife was apparently cause for commotion. This ad from Fantastic Snacks received an inexplicable 85 complaints, based on sexualised content.

4. Periods proved a bit much for Australian viewers, with 76 complaints claiming this Unilever ad was ‘stereotypical’ towards women. It’s unclear what the average woman who has suffered from period pain would think of this funny sketch!

5. Sportsbet took out the fifth spot, because it showed a sweaty man gambling online whilst at the gym. Perplexingly though, viewers took more offence at his “mindless bogan” appearance, than with gambling itself.


Were you bothered by any advertisements in the list? Have you ever complained about a television ad?

Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. Some are silly but I think some people have so little in their lives, they need to invent something to complain about

  2. Hahahahaha! Love ya Leslie!
    I can’t watch the ads showing the effects of smoking. I don’t see what good they do, they turn my stomach everytime.
    I am not a smoker and never have been but I did watch someone die as a result of this addiction. Not something I need reminding about.

  3. Well The couple of the listed ads I saw I didn’t like in as much as they were obviously designed by someone with immature imagination, but not really offended. The ad that really creeps me out is the Trivago add for hotels. It sounds as if they are voyeurs watching every move hotel guests make.

  4. If all people have to complain about are tv ads what boring lives they must lead. Do what my hubby does flick through the channels until they have finished. I didn’t see why any of these ads got complaints.

  5. I’m not offended because I utilise the add time to get up and move around the house, however I haven’t noticed any that are particularly offensive to me.

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