This website is now archived. While it is fully functioning, I no longer maintain it and comments are turned off on most posts. Please visit the updated

Advertising Complaints of 2006 (Violence, Religion and Sexuality Not As Bad As Fried Chicken)

It appears that 2006 was the year for complaining about adverts, as the BBC and Advertising Standards Agency announce that a record number of adverts were complained about in 2006. But which were the most (un)popular?

D&G AdvertIt seems same-sex issues and knives account for half of the top ten most complained about adverts of 2006, but were they really that bad? In short, no – only two of these five actually had their complaints upheld, and these are both – in my opinion – still dubious decisions. Seriously, does this advert by D&G really look like it is glamorising violent knife crime? Is it not obvious, even to the uninitiated, that it is a modern interpretation of a Napoleonic-era painting?

The most complained about advert in 2006 was not related to violent crime however. Instead it was one created by the Gay Police Association in the midst of bitter in-fighting with the Christian Police Association, and you can see it here.

In the Name of the Father - GPA CommercialIn this advert, the GPA blamed religion as the sole or primary motivation behind most homophobic incidents and – unsurprisingly – this brought a torrent of abuse and complaints from many religious groups both within and outside of the police force. There’s an interesting story behind this advert and it’s worth reading, but I would like to mention a different point…

This commercial – the most complained about trailer in the UK in 2006 – only received one third (1/3) of the complaints that the most complained about advert did in 2005. That commercial (that I’m sure many of the UK residents reading this will remember) was by KFC and featured people in a call centre singing with their mouths full of fried chicken. This KFC trailer was also the most complained about television commercial of all time! Yummy, pass me the greasefamily-bucket!