NEWS: Assertive TV audience willing to complain, ITC study warns

Agencies should brace themselves for a growth in the number of complaints about TV ads because viewers feel increasingly comfortable about voicing their concerns to industry watchdogs.

Agencies should brace themselves for a growth in the number of

complaints about TV ads because viewers feel increasingly comfortable

about voicing their concerns to industry watchdogs.



The warning came in the Independent Television Commission’s annual

report on TV advertising complaints, which found that the number rose

from 3,317 in 1994 to 3,432 last year.



The ITC believes that the Citizen’s Charter, and similar initiatives

over recent years, have encouraged a more assertive approach to

complaining. However, it pointed out that senior ad industry figures

such as Adrian Holmes, chairman of Lowe Howard- Spink, spoke out against

offensive ads last year, suggesting a trend towards more aggressive

advertising.



Sun Alliance attracted the largest number of complaints for its ads

during 1995. They juxtaposed a series of images that could be

interpreted as shocking or violent. The ITC received 214 complaints, but

did not uphold any of them.



Neutralia’s ad for its shower gel brand, which included a brief shot of

a woman’s nipple, attracted 115 complaints, which, again, were not

upheld. Of the top five most complained about ads, the ITC offered

guidance but did not think it necessary to take firm restrictive action.



Almost a quarter of the complaints received concerned ‘offensive’ ads.

The number of ads that viewers found misleading remained fairly stable

year on year.



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Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).