The UK's advertising watchdog has released a list of the
most complained about adverts of all time and it makes useful
reading for small businesses that are planning marketing
Sex? Violence? Swearing? No, the most complained about advert of
all time, the one that angered the British public and shocked them
into overloading the Advertising Standards Authority with
outrage, showed people singing with their mouths full of
Yep, it's poor table manners that gets up the nose of British.
The KFC advert aired in 2005 and showed call centre workers singing
through mouthfuls of food. Audiences were so disgusted that the
advert triggered 1,671 complaints.
In second place was The Auction World television shopping
channel advert. They clocked up 1,360 complaints in 2004 from
viewers who objected to poor customer service, misleading guide
prices and delivery delays.
Paddy Power's advert that showed a blind football team player
volleying a cat instead of a ball attracted 1,316 angry complaints,
putting it into third on the list.
Small businesses need to be careful when planning marketing
campaigns, if people deem your idea to be of bad taste, it could
damage your start-up and ruin your reputation forever.
On the other hand, if you do go for the shock factor, it could
make lists like this one and be written and talked about for years
In any case, if your marketing strategy really boosts your
business remember your table manners when investors come knocking
on your door.
The full list of adverts is below:
- Kentucky Fried Chicken (2005) - 1,671 complaints
- Auction World (2004) - 1,360
- Paddy Power (2010) - 1,313
- Christian party (2009) - 948
- British Safety Council condom advert (1995) - 1,192
- Marie Stopes International (2010) - 1,088
- Volkswagen (2008) - 1,070
- Yves St Laurent Beaute (2000) -
- Department of Energy and Climate Change (2010) - 939
- Barnardo's (2008) - 840