The ad showed a man retching up a dog to symbolise the bad breath experience that follows a night out on the booze and a kebab.
It was created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and the 600 complaints received by the ITC about the ad made it more talked about in the press than any other -- the first survey in some time where an ad featuring a celebrity has not topped the list.
The first quarter of the year saw controversy reign as the main factor in getting an ad talked about. Of the top 11 ads, six were featured in the news because they were controversial in some way, including McDonald's, Walkers Crisps tie-up with Gary Lineker; and Double Velvet toilet tissue, with its series of bare bottoms.
Three ads tied for second spot on the survey: Lynx Pulse and its dancing geek; the final Daz doorstep challenge spot; and a DBS Financial Services brochure, which landed a £100,000 fine for being misleading.
The Ads that Make News survey is undertaken quarterly by Propeller Communications and is conducted by Durrants.
Martin Loat, managing director of Propeller, said: "As the most talked-about ad of the year so far, Wrigley's Xcite is a good example of all publicity being good publicity. Although complaints and a ban prompted the national press stories, the coverage itself was not unduly negative and arguably did a great deal to enhance the brand's stock among its target consumers."
Ads that Make News
1 Wrigley's Xcite' - "dog breath"
2= Daz - "doorstep challenge"
2= DBS Management - 'misleading' ad brochures
2= Lynx Pulse - "disco-dancing geek"
5= Walkers - Gary Lineker endorsement
5= McDonalds - McSteak Sandwich
5= Gales Ales - "healthy" beer-mat
8= Double Velvet - "love your bum"
8= Silk Cut - "fat lady sings"
8= Abbey National - Gary Kemp ad
8= Walkers - "indian wedding"
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