Discrimination trumps sex as most offensive issue in advertising

Discrimination trumps sex as most offensive issue in advertising

Australians complained more about discrimination and vilification in advertising than they did about sex and sexuality last year, the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) has revealed.

B&T Magazine
Posted by B&T Magazine

The issue of discrimination and vilification was the most dominant issue raised by complaints in 2012, accounting for 28.5% of all complaints – an increase from 20.7% in 2011.

It trumped the portrayal of sex and nudity, which was consistently the most complained about issue for five years until 2012.

According to the ASB, a reason for this change is the introduction of a new section of the code – objectification – which took effect early last year.

With that new section in place, issues of sex, sexuality and nudity accounted for 23.%, and complaints of objectification accounted for almost 14% in 2012.

Statistics also reveal that Australians are getting more conservative about what they consider appropriate language. Complaints concerning language doubled from 6.1% in 2011 to 12.2% in 2012, which is the highest recorded percentage of complaints regarding language since statistics were recorded in 2005.

The ASB suggested these figures could have been inflated by the most complained about ad for 2012 – Johnson&Johnson's Carefree ad which used the word vagina.

Issues around health, safety and violence received less complaints than they did in 2011, as did complaints relating to food and beverage.  

The majority of complaints (65.5%) related to advertisements shown on television, a marked increase from the 2011 figure of 44.2%.

In 2012, the ASB separated the Internet medium into Internet and Internet- Social Media to capture new forms of advertising. Internet advertising attracted the second highest percentage of complaints, 7.8% and internet-social media accounted for 2.6% of all complaints.

Transport complaints accounted for 1.5% of all complaints and outdoor represented 1.4%. A noteworthy decrease from 2011 was for billboard complaints decreasing from 26.4% in 2011 to 4.8% in 2012.

Print media complaints remained consistent with previous years at almost 5%. Other mediums attracting complaint included radio (4.1%), pay TV (2.9%), poster (1.9%), cinema (1.4%) and mail (1.2%).

Latest News

Portrait of businessman holding binoculars and looking at laptop
  • Media

Monitoring Terrorists Is Okay On Social Media, But Targeted Advertising Isn’t: Survey

A survey for Unisys Security Insights found 79 per cent of Australians are comfortable with social media monitoring to detect possible terrorist activity. But only 27 per cent are comfortable with targeted advertising on social media. The Unisys Security Insights Australia: social media monitoring study, conducted by Newspoll, surveyed 1,210 Australians aged 18+ during April this year. […]

Why We Need More Gay People In Ads And Five Tips On How To Do It Right
  • Media

Why We Need More Gay People In Ads And Five Tips On How To Do It Right

Clients and their agencies often baulk at using gay and lesbian people in campaigns not because they think it’s too risky, rather they have a misguided belief that they make up too small a part of their customer base. That’s the view of Pollen’s strategy lead Andy Miller (pictured below) who was recently commissioned by […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
News Corp Ups Management With Three Senior Appointments
  • Media

News Corp Ups Management With Three Senior Appointments

News Corp has announced three new senior appointments to bolster its executive team. A statement to media this afternoon announced the new structure and read as follows: News Corp Australia’s chief executive officer Julian Clarke today announced a number of senior executive appointments – Damian Eales has been appointed managing director of metro and regional publishing, […]

Quiip Celebrates Turning Five With A Bunch Of New Client Wins
  • Media

Quiip Celebrates Turning Five With A Bunch Of New Client Wins

Client growth as community management becomes a ‘must-have’. Australia’s leading social media and online community management company Quiip has celebrated its five-year anniversary in the best possible way: with a host of new business wins including leading entities from the consumer, utilities, government, financial services and health sectors.

Make Sure You Don’t Breach Marketing Privacy Rules
  • Marketing

Make Sure You Don’t Breach Marketing Privacy Rules

Marketing resource management solutions can help ensure companies remain compliant with consumer privacy regulations. At least 21 companies have been investigated by the privacy commissioner already this year for failing to explicitly tell people that they have their data and how they intend to use it. Privacy breaches can attract fines of up to $1.7 million.

APMA Star Awards Finalists Announced
  • Media

APMA Star Awards Finalists Announced

The Communications Council today announces 61 campaigns from 27 clients and 22 agencies have made it through to the final stages of the 2015 APMA Star Awards.