The Most Complained-About Australian Ads Of 2013

Australia’s Advertising Standards Bureau has released its list of this year’s the most complained-about ads.

The “winner” of the most-complained about award was a television ad featuring a mouth detaching itself from its owner, with 65 complaints,

Runners up were another television advertisement featuring adults with children’s heads with 42 complaints, and a billboard featuring the word “boobs” with 36.

You can see why some people thought this one was gross. A mouth pops out of a guy’s face, then complains about all the things its gone through.

One of those things, which is shown, is the man sucking on a woman’s toe. It’s a beer ad, so the mouth suggests a cold one would be a good way to repay it.

“It is horror sense to see a face without a mouth in such way,” one of the complaints read.

“The spitting out of the mouth and the sexualised nature of the toe sucking and kissing is an objectification of the body.

“The suggestion that the mouth then needs cleansed after sucking and kissing the toes of a women is degrading in implying the uncleanliness of the woman’s body.”

This Vodafone ad portrays adults whose faces look extremely childlike, and is pretty creepy.

The weird, overgrown babies go to nightclubs and do the shopping, as part of a metaphor designed to express the wonder and discovery of childhood.

Complaints suggested it sexualised and objectified children. “Given the recent rise in paedophile reports, this is in extremely bad taste,” one person said.

This was just a billboard, which some people found offensive. As you can see its just the word “boobs” spelt in the Bonds style and typeface.

“I find using the terminology of ‘boobs’ to be very demeaning when used in advertising referring to the female body parts we know as breasts,” one person wrote.

“It would be like having an advertisement for men’s underpants and calling attention to them by having a billboard with the word ‘dick’ on it and then changing it to men wearing the underpants and referring to the brand and dicks.”

This one was actually banned. In it, a baby and a grandma slap people, in between Mark Bouris telling everyone about a new superannuation product.

“The child slapping his carer’s face, a male slapping a woman, is to myself and my family abuse of women and should not be shown on television,” said one person.

This Nissan ad shows a couple driving really fast, supposedly on the way to the hospital as the women has gone into labour.

But it turns out she’s not actually pregnant and they just wanted to put the car through its paces.

As one person points out: “There is a small print disclaimer on the bottom of the screen saying no road rules were broken in the making of the commercial.

“That is totally irrelevant because the actual ad shows the car racing down city streets and around corners and coming to an abrupt stop at the Emergency door.”

A woman takes her dog to the park for obedience training. The dog is especially well behaved, and it and the woman leave in a good mood.

The trainer is an older woman.

Then in the next scene they go back, and there is a young, attractive man filling in as the trainer. The dog gets jealous and acts up, until the trainer asks the two to leave.

The dog is then happy, and the two drive away in a Jeep.

“I don’t think little kids should be watching a dog humping a man’s leg also it is illegal to have pet in front of car,” said one person.

It’s not hard to see why this got a few people offside. In the ad for Windsor Smith, men model shoes while women in white lingerie dance around them. Though in the end the complaints against the ad were dismissed.

“I am particularly offended by two separate shots of a woman bent over, in her underwear, and the camera zooming in on her bum and vagina,” one person said.

“I am offended by the sexism in this advert, and am also upset that it was played in the morning in front of my young girl.”

The full case reports for all of these ads, and more, are available at the ASB’s website.

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