Number of advertising complaints up
The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) and Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) have revealed what matters they have received most complaints about last year.
The ASAI received more complaints in 2012 than any other year, with some 2,000 noted over the last 12 months.
In previous years, the organisation received about 1,500 complaints on average.
The advertisement which received the most complaints last year was Paddy Power’s ‘Ladies Day at Cheltenham’, which asked viewers to spot whether women in the video were born female or were transgendered. “Separate the stallions from the mares,” the voice over said.
The advertisement received over 400 complaints and was upheld by the ASAI. Paddy Power withdrew the video prior to the determination of the case, but it is still available on YouTube.
Dublin’s Alchemy Nightclub received the second highest number of complaints for a provocative advertisement they uploaded to their Facebook page. Although the advertisement received over 250 complaints, it was within the ASAI’s remit at the time, so complaints could not be upheld.
Youth Defence billboards opposing abortion attracted over 140 complaints, but the ASAI were unable to act on complaints as the billboards were not of a commercial nature, ASAI chief executive Frank Goodman said.
“There are, however, areas of advertising that are not covered by the ASAI Code and these are primarily political or religious advertising and advertisements with the principal purpose of expressing the advertiser’s position on issues of social or public interest, as is the case with the current Youth Defence campaign,” he said.
In November, the ASAI extended its remit to include “marketing communications in non-paid-for space online, under the control of the advertiser or their agent, including but not limited to advertisers’ own websites”
A full analysis of ASAI complaints is underway and a list of complaints upheld throughout 2012 will be released in March.
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) revealed that TV3’s Psychic Readings Live show received the most complaints last year.
The late-night show was cancelled in December and received a total of 29 complaints, nearly a quarter of all complaints made to the BAI last year. Ten of those complaints were upheld.
RTÉ’s Prime Time and TV News both received nine complaints each, but none of these complaints were upheld.
Altogether, 132 complaints from 2012 have been processed by the BAI to date. In 2011, 217 complaints were processed.
A spokesman for the BAI said one reason for the the drop in complaints may be due to new regulations stating complainants must now go through the broadcaster before being lodged to the BAI.
A full report on complaints to the BAI will also be issued later in the year.