- A poster featuring a cow who declares, "When I'm a burger I want to be washed down with Irn-Bru", was Britain's most complained about ad last year.
A total of 589 complaints were made to the Advertising Standards Authority about the ad. But although the ASA rejected them, it issued a new warning to advertisers this week to beware of the offence that can be caused in the way animals are portrayed.
The UK's second most controvesial ad -- for TCP throat lozenges --also caused uproar among animal lovers by showing a tiger biting a man's neck together with the caption: "Numb the pain of a sore throat."
Although the appearance of the national press campaign accidentally coincided with the mauling of a circus trainer by a tiger, the ASA rejected the 171 complaints, claiming it would be seen as light hearted.
The top sinning ads are revealed in the ASA's annual report which reveals a 14 per cent rise in complaints last year from 10,676 to 12,217. At the same time, complaints about taste and decency rose by 58 per cent.
However, AA excutives say the picture is distorted by the high number of complaints generated by a small number of ads, 10 of which accounted for 13 per cent of complaints made last year.
The annual report also renews its call for greater care to be given about the portrayal of women and religious imagery in ads.
The warning is prompted partly by the 142 complaints--the third highest number--upheld against a Sunday Times ad promoting the work of the photographer Terry O'Neill which showed the bikini-clad actress Raquel Welch tied to a wooden cross.