Many of us may spend more time online than watching the box these days, but it's TV advertising that irks us more than ads on any other medium, according to new figures – and there's one in particular that really bothers the British public.
Moneysupermarket's bizarre "dance-off" ad featuring a businessman twerking while wearing heels and denim hot pants received the most complaints (455) of any ad in any medium in 2017, The Guardian reported. Complainants said it was offensive, overtly sexual, borderline homophobic and potentially encouraging of hate crimes.
The is despite the ad having been first released two years ago and the ASA having previously declined to ban it on the grounds that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.
Drawing the second-highest number of complaints was a Match.com ad depicting a lesbian tryst in which a woman removes her partner's top and the pair passionately kiss. It's not clear whether the 293 complaints between January and June were motivated by homophobia or other factors, but the ASA didn't take action, judging it to be inoffensive.
Critics of the third most complained-about advert, however, did prevail – and we're not surprised. The ASA decided it didn't need to investigate McDonald's' widely lambasted campaign which capitalised on child bereavement after the fast food chain pulled it soon after launch. The poor-taste ad showed a mother comforting her grieving son by telling him about his father's favourite burger (they both loved Filet-o-Fish, in case you couldn't bear to watch it yourself).
The three TV ads drew 5,172 complaints in total – more than any other medium from January to June, with online ads the second most complained-about (4,062). "We’re spending more time online, but the mass audience of TV ads means they continue to generate the most complaints," explained Guy Parker, the ASA’s chief executive.