1,450 complaints received by the ASAI in 2021

Apr 30th '22

2021 Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) Annual Report shows significant majority (73%) of complaints were made on the basis that an advertisement was perceived to be ‘misleading’.


A total of 1,450 written complaints concerning 959 advertisements were received by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) last year, according to the organisation’s 2021 Annual Report. This represents a 12% decrease on the number of complaints received in 2020.


The Travel / Holiday’ sector attracted the greatest number of complaints (207), followed by ‘Leisure (151), and ‘Household’ (145). ‘Digital Media gave rise to the highest number of complaints by media (696), representing 48% of all complaints, while complaints relating to broadcast media (TV and radio combined) totaled 603, and outdoor media attracted 67 complaints, an increase of almost 50% on 2020 (36). Of the 696 digital media complaints, 77 complaints related to influencer marketing advertisements, which were 5% of all complaints received.


The ASAI found that 68 advertisements were in breach of the ASAI’s Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing Communications.


The ASAI Annual Report outlines that 73% of the complaints made in 2021 were on the basis that an advertisement was misleading, while 9% were made on the basis that an advertisement was offensive. There were also a wide range of other issues covered by the ASAI Code that were raised by members of the public, including concerns about health & beauty, motoring, bard and beverages, telecommunications and alcohol advertising.


See complaints by sector, with comparative figures for 2020 and 2019, here.


Source: ASAI


About the ASAI

The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland is financed by the advertising industry and committed, in the public interest, to promoting the highest standards of marketing communications that is advertising, promotional marketing and direct marketing. The objective is to ensure that all commercial marketing communications are ‘legal, decent, honest and truthful’.


The Code covers commercial marketing communications and sales promotions in all media in Ireland including digital (online banners, websites and social platforms), print, outdoor, radio, TV, leaflets/brochures, and direct marketing.


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