These are the most complained about TV adverts in 2017

Posted by
Susan Devaney
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We’re the first to admit that some adverts, more than others, can leaving us feeling a little irked. Whether we quickly switch to mute when it comes on, change the channel or go and make another cup of tea, an annoying advert can sometimes get the blood following faster.

But some of the British public have been so angered by three TV adverts in particular this year alone they’ve filed complaints.

And these are the most complained about TV adverts, according to the Advertising Standards Authority.  


We’ve all seen it, since it’s actually been gracing our small screens for two years: Moneysupermarket’s dance-off ad featuring men wearing denim hotpants and high heels. The advert has received the most complaints this year alone – 455 – of any campaign in any medium. Viewers felt it was offensive, overtly sexual, possibly homophobic and having the potential to encourage hate crimes. The ASA declined to ban it. 


The dating website’s ad featuring a woman removing another woman’s top and then proceeding to passionately kiss her pulled in 293 complaints between January and June of this year.

3. McDonald’s

The advert showed a mother comforting her grieving son by discussing his father’s favourite burger with him. However, the poor-taste ad wasn’t well received from the get-go and the company quickly pulled it. As such, the Advertising Standards Agency didn’t investigate it further. The ad still received 255 complaints, but the ASA didn't take action, judging it to be inoffensive.

With all of the advertising mediums out there, TV adverts have irritated us more than online ads (which was the same in 2016). 5,127 complaints have been made about 2,272 TV ads this year alone. With online ads receiving 4,062 complaints about 3,852 ads, respectively. 

And it seems men continue to complain more about ads than women. In total, men lodged 7,729 complaints compared to 5,031 by women. With women more likely to file a complaint about harm and offence, while men are more concerned about misleadingness.

With Christmas adverts soon to drop, we do wonder which ones will steal our hearts – or leaving us feeling like Scrooge. 

Images: Netflix