The survey, based on the column inches and headlines in the national press, found the ad, which featured a dog climbing out of a man's mouth and drew 600 complaints to the Independent Television Commission, made headlines in at least 11 national papers.
In the first of the quarterly surveys for 2003, compiled by Propeller Communications, six of the top 11 ads were reported in the national press for being banned or provoking controversy.
The end of Daz's Doorstep challenge era shared second place with the Lynx Pulse spots featuring a dancing man, and a brochure for DBS Financial Services.
An ad for McDonald's McSteak Sandwich, banned for misrepresenting the product, came joint fifth with Walkers Crisps and Gales Ales.
The naked bottoms in Double Velvet toilet tissue's "love your bum" campaign shared eighth place with Silk Cut's "fat lady" billboards, Abbey National's dating ads and the Walkers Crisps Indian wedding spots.
The monitoring company Durrants supplied the data.
Martin Loat, the managing director of Propeller, said: "Xcite is a good example of all publicity being good publicity. Although complaints and a ban prompted the national press stories, coverage itself was not unduly negative and enhanced the brand's stock."