U.K. Advertising Standards Agency Releases Top 10 Complained About Ads | Adweek
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The U.K.'s Top 10 Most Offensive Ads

Spots for everything from abortion services to online betting earn Brits' ire
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From abortion services to climate change cautionary tales, advertisements have people in a tizzy in the U.K. The Advertising Standards Authority released its top 10 most complained about ads of 2010. The list runs the gamut from oversexed to fear mongering.

The more than 25,000 complaints filed with the ASA in 2010 is a 13 percent decrease from 2009, though complaints over television advertising increased by 8 percent in the same time period. The particularly irking television ads, which were the source of more than half of overall complaints, included gems like the “Are you late?” campaign about abortion services and the “Paddy Power” campaign for an online betting site that managed to offend cat lovers and the visually impaired alike.

Despite the volume of complaints, the ASA only put the kibosh on two of the top 10 offenders. A climate-change ad using nursery rhymes was pulled for being misleading, and a circular similarly got the ax for misrepresentation. But don’t worry, the ad showing cute cartoon animals being sent to slaughter made the grade.