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These are the most-complained about ads of 2014.

It was the year for complaining about adverts that annoyed and offended us, apparently.

Around 5,600 complaints were received in 2014, the most since the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) was established in 1998, but despite a record number of calls, none of these ads were actually offensive enough to get banned.

Should they have been? Judge for yourself:

1. Ashley Madison – Other Than My Wife. 

We’re not surprised that the most-complained about advertisement in 2014 was for an online-dating website aimed at married people looking to have an affair – it received 481 complaints.

The ad was a video from Ashley Madison for Other Than My Wife. Here it is, in all its unethical glory.

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And with Ashley Madison sitting at number one – here are five more ads from the top 10 that we believe to be the best (or worst) from the most complained about.

myPlates Manproof – Man farting.

A man passes wind inside a car. After he’s passed wind the video freezes and a voice over comes on with the tagline, “Ladies, do you know what your man’s doing when he’s in your car?” It was an advertisement for female-themed number plates – teaching women how to ‘manproof’ their car.

A lot of people didn’t see the funny side and complained that the ad was sexist against the male population.

Here you go:

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myPlates Manproof – Man picking his nose.

The second ad by myPlates Manproof saw a man picking his nose (which I’m sure no woman has ever done in her life – ghastly). The video – titled Digging for Gold – shows a man digging for, well, ‘gold’ in his nose before pulling out a big nugget. Not knowing where to put the nugget – he wipes it on the side of the car door – it’s pretty gross.

And again, here you go:

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Ultratune – Ultra sexy ad for tyres.

Men pick their noses, apparently. And women? Women get turned on by tyres. This very tasteful video cuts to a tagline that says, “The word is out we’re now into rubber.” Subtle.

It’s on the list.

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Menulog – Last Supper satire.

Menulog is a company that provides an online takeaway service and they came up with the idea that the men at the last supper ordered takeaway online. While they probably thought it was creative genius – the ad made a lot of people unhappy. It received 228 complaints.

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On. The. List.

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Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses – Billboard. (Image below may be distressing for some)

The final one on our list isn’t a video – it’s an image that sent a powerful message (a little too powerful for some) about the race horse industry. An image of a horse lying dead on its side with the words, “Is the party really worth it?” was hoisted on to a billboard after this year’s Melbourne Cup.

The image is below (it may be distressing for some):

most complained about ads 2014
While these ads didn’t sit right with some people – not one of them breached the code we have for advertising content in Australia.

“While people may not wish to see ‘ick-factor’ images of nose-picking or farting on TV, or about dating sites for married people, the content of these advertisements do not breach the Codes,” The ASB’s CEO Fiona Jolly said.

Some of them are funny and some of them have probably crossed the line. But here we are, giving them oxygen, which is the ultimate goal in advertising, right?

What do you think of the ads? Are they offensive to you?

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