Top 5 ads escape censure

The year 2005 saw a record number of complaints against adverts, according to the ASA. Out of the ten most complained-about ads, the top five all escaped censure from the authority.

MWW reported on the top two at the time: the Kentucky Fried Chicken mouthful, and the L-Word poster campaign. The next three were the Pot Noodle horn, the Mazda mannequin nipples, and the Churchill “London Fights Back” Ryanair newspaper ads.

And who better to get a quote on the subject than our friend John Beyer of Mediawatch-UK? As befitting a man whose life’s work is based upon a logical fallacy (namely the confusion of correlation and cause), he blithered to The Times thusly:

This shows there is a gap between the regulator and public opinion.

Since the top 5 ads collected a grand total of 3,717 complaints between them, the complainers can hardly be said to represent “public opinion”

Adverts have to be legal, decent, honest and true.

he added, tautologically.

Maybe the time has come to add that they must also show manners and respect.

So sit up straight and get your elbows off the table!

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