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Advert featuring ‘strutting man’ and Sharon Osbourne receives most complaints

Joe Williams February 23, 2016
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An advert featuring a man in hotpants and high heels received the most complaints in 2015, it has been revealed.

An advert featuring a man strutting down a street in hotpants and high heels received the most complaints in 2015, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has revealed.

The ad – which also featured Sharon Osbourne – attracted 1,513 complaints, with disgruntled viewers criticising its “overtly sexual” content.

However, the ASA did not uphold any of the complaints.

Chief executive Guy Parker said matters of offence can “grab the headlines” – but said the majority of the ASA’s work is focused on “tackling misleading advertising”.

The body recognised that some viewers might have considered the price comparison TV and web advert – featuring a man called Dave praised by Osbourne for dancing to Don’t Cha by the Pussycat Dolls – to be “distasteful”.

But the popular ad was not judged to be in breach of the advertising code.

A company spokesman said the public feedback to the ad was “overwhelmingly positive”.

Other adverts featured on the list included three from the website

Ads from the company in which the word “booking” was seen to be used in the place of the word f**king, were the second, fourth and seventh most-complained about ads of the year – with 683, 407 and 201 complaints respectively.

Again, the complaints were not upheld, with the ASA saying “it was a light-hearted play on words that couldn’t be mistaken for an actual swear word”.

One ad that the ASA did take action against was a poster campaign advertising a Protein World weight-loss product with the slogan: “Are you beach body ready?”

The poster, showing a woman in a bikini attracted 380 complaints, and the ASA told the company that due to “concerns about a range of health and weight loss claims” it could not appear in the same format again.

Despite this, the ASA concluded the ad – which was vandalised in Tube stations and sparked a petition calling for it to be banned – was not likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

Related topics: Advertising Standards Authority, Sharon Osbourne

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