These were the most complained about UK ads of 2016

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This ad for a price comparison website received 898 complaints.
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YouTube

Every year the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority publishes the most complained about ads of the year.

All of the ads in this year’s top ten were deemed offensive by complainants.

Moneysupermarket.com led the list with three of the top five most complained about ads.

Check out the ten most complained about ads of this year.


10. Maltesers – 151 complaints. Viewers said this TV ad was offensive to disabled people and overly sexual. The complaints were dismissed.


9. Gourmet Burger Kitchen – 195 complaints. This campaign prompted a social media backlash from upset vegans and vegetarians. GBK removed all in the series except for the ads mentioning Quinoa and lettuce. No additional action was taken on those ads.


8. Home Office – 216 complaints. People complained that this ad implied that only men engaged in abusive behavior and would prevent men from seeking help for abuse. The complaints were dismissed.


7. Paddy Power – 220 complaints. People complained the ad was racist and encouraged anti-English views, while others complained the Scottish stereotypes in the ad were offensive. The complaints were dismissed.


6. Smart Energy GB – 253 complaints. Complainants said this ad was excessively violent and didn’t show what the dangers of gas and electrical devices are. The complaints were dismissed.


5. Paddy Power – 450 complaints. This ad was one of the most complained about ads in 2010, getting over 1,000 complaints. It aired again in 2016. Complaints were that the ad encouraged animal cruelty and was harmful towards blind people, but those were dismissed.


4. Moneysupermarket.com – 530 complaints. This “Epic Squads” ad featured a dance-off between a construction worker and an office worker in high heels in an underground car park. The complaints argued it was overly sexual and offensive because the ad featured two homosexuals together. The complaints were dismissed.


3. Match.com – 896 complaints. The ad showed a female couple coming home after work and kissing while taking off each others’ clothes. People thought the ad was overtly sexual and was inappropriately scheduled. The complaints were not upheld since a scheduling restriction had been put in place to prevent it from being shown around children’s programs.


2. Moneysupermarket.com – 898 complaints. The ad featured a group of construction workers in a dance off with another group of men dressed in high heels and denim hot pants. People complained the ad was overtly sexual and could be considered homophobic. The complaints were dismissed.


1. Moneysupermarket.com Ltd – 1,063 complaints. Viewers found the dance moves in the ad to be overly sexual and not suitable to children. The complaints were dismissed.