Advertising Standards Bureau Review of Operations 2014 - Page 70

Advertising complaints statistics In 2014 the ASB received 5,735 complaints, almost double the number of complaints (2,773) in 2013 and the highest number of complaints since the establishment of the ASB. The previous highest number of complaints was recorded in 2006, with 4,044. From the 5735 complaints the board considered 515 advertisements with an additional 30 withdrawn by advertisers before Board consideration. Of the 545 advertisements considered, 62 of these advertisements were found to be in breach of the Code. Although complaint numbers were higher than ever before, the actual number of advertisements complained about was not higher than the average. While the number of advertisements complained about was an increase from the total 442 advertisements complained about in 2013, it was not as high as in 2009 when the ASB received complaints about 595 separate advertisements. In 2014 discrimination and vilification was the most complained about issue, accounting for 27.61 per cent of complaints. The “ick” factor in advertisements created another first, with the category of “Other” receiving the second highest percentage of complaints at 16.61 per cent. Sex, sexuality and nudity came in third highest with 14.27 per cent. The most complained about product category in 2014 was automotive which accounted for 20.5 per cent of all complaints. This is due to a small number of advertisements receiving a higher number of complaints. While the percentage of complaints received from most States and Territories remained consistent with previous years, there was a significant increase in complaints from NSW (31.77 percent in 2013 to 37.63 per cent in 2014) which can be attributed to a series of advertisements shown only in that State. Also significant was a six per cent drop in complaints from Queensland, from 20.84 per cent in 2013 to 14.58 per cent in 2014. 68 Number of advertisements considered and outcome of complaints Of the total 5,735 complaints received, 2,047 complaints were in relation to advertisements previously considered by the Board. Of the 2,047 complaints about already considered advertisements, 209 complaints were related to advertisements considered by the Board prior to 2014. A total of 174 complaints were assessed as raising issues under the Code of Ethics that the Board has consistently considered not in breach of the Codes. A total of 4177 complaints were received about the 515 advertisements considered by the Board. There were 202 complaints against the 62 ads which were found to breach the Code with the remaining 454 ads accounting for 3981 complaints. Compared to the total number of ads considered by the Board, the number of ads found to breach the code equated to an upheld rate of 12.04 per cent. On receiving advice that there had been a complaint 30 advertisers removed their ad prior to consideration by the Board, up from 17 in 2013. When complaint 2v