- KFC Zingers (2005) . 1,671 complaints – not upheld.
This TV ad showed call centre workers singing with their mouths full. Many objected it could encourage bad manners amongst children. Although not to everyone’ taste, we thought it was unlikely to change children’s behaviour or undermine parental authority.
- Auction World (2004)
1,360 complaints – licence revoked.
Shopping channel Auctionworld’s consistently poor customer service, misleading guide prices and delays in delivery of goods resulted in a flurry of complaints, which we passed to Ofcom who issued a fine and revoked their licence to broadcast.
- Paddy Power Bookies (2010)
1,313 complaints – not upheld
Viewers complained that the image of a cat being kicked across a pitch by a blind football player was offensive to blind people and could encourage animal cruelty. We judged the ad was unlikely to encourage or condone cruelty to animals or cause serious or widespread offence.
- The Christian Party (2009)
1,204 complaints – not upheld
Complainants objected that the strap line There definitely is a God. So join the Christian Party and enjoy your life was offensive to atheists and couldn’t be substantiated. Political party ads are out of our remit, but even if it had been in remit we wouldn’t have banned it because it was clearly a statement of opinion, rather than fact.
- British Safety Council (1995)
1,192 complaints – upheld
This leaflet featured the Pope wearing a hard hat with the strap line The Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt always wear a condom . Although intended to raise awareness for National Condom Week and promote safer sex, we agreed with complainants that it was offensive to Roman Catholics
- Marie Stopes International (2010)
1,088 complaints – not upheld
A TV ad offering sexual and reproductive healthcare advice, information and services attracted complaints for various reasons, including that it promoted abortion. We felt it was clearly promoting an advice service and wasn’t advocating one course of action over another, nor trivialising unplanned pregnancy.
- Volkswagen (2009)
1,070 complaints – upheld in part
The ASA upheld, in part, against this ad campaign that depicted an engineer fighting multiple versions of himself. We ruled that the level of violence in two of the ads meant they should only be shown after 9 pm.
- Opium Perfume (2000)
948 complaints – upheld
We agreed with complaints that a poster ad for Opium perfume featuring a naked Sophie Dahl was sexually suggestive and, in an untargeted medium, likely to cause serious or widespread offence. But we didn’t uphold a small number of complaints about the same ad in women’s magazines.
- Department of Energy and Climate Change (2010)
939 complaints – upheld in part
We received objections that this TV and press campaign about climate change was misleading and scaremongering. We didn’t agree with the majority of the objections, but did uphold complaints about claims in some of the press ads for exaggerating the likelihood and impact of extreme weather conditions.
- Barnardo’s (2008)
840 complaints – not upheld
Designed to raise awareness of domestic child abuse, this TV campaign featured repeated scenes of violence and drug-taking, which many viewers found upsetting and not suitable for broadcast at times when children were likely to be watching. We did not doubt the distress or offence described by many of the complainants. However, we considered the ads were scheduled appropriately and their aim justified the use of strong imagery.