The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) Annual Report for 2006, published today, has revealed that 2,421 ads were changed or withdrawn as a result of ASA action during the year.
Although the total number of complaints lodged with the ASA fell by 14.5% (to 22,429) on the previous year, a record number of ads were complained about - 12,842. And, mirroring the growing importance of the Internet in advertising, the number of complaints about advertising online rose by 33%.
Religious offence, violent imagery and same-sex kisses dominate the listing of the top ten most complained about ads of the year.
Launching the Annual Report, ASA Chairman, Lord Borrie QC, said: "2006 may have seen a rise in the number of ads attracting complaints, but, pleasingly, the proportion of ads falling foul of the advertising codes did not rise. The Internet is now the second most complained about non-broadcast advertising format - a rise unmatched by any other media. Yet the boundaries of regulatory responsibility online are still unclear. The industry needs to address this issue quickly so that consumer faith in online messages can be as high as it is for advertising that appears in traditional formats."