ASAI received 1,450 complaints last year

A total of 1,450 written complaints about 959 ads were received by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) in 2021, the industry body’s annual report indicates. It represents a 12 per cent decrease on the number of complaints received the previous year. The travel and holiday sector attracted the biggest number of complaints with 207.

Next in line was leisure (151) and household (145). Digital media gave rise to the highest number of complaints by media (696), representing 48 per cent of all complaints, while complaints relating to broadcast media (TV and radio combined) totalled 603 and outdoor media attracted 67 complaints, which was an increase of almost half on 2020’s 36.

Of the 696 digital media complaints, 77 related to influencer marketing ads, which comprised five per cent of all complaints received. The ASAI, which is the independent self-regulatory body committed, in the public interest, to promoting the highest standards of marketing communications, found that 68 ads were in breach of the body’s code of standards.


The report outlines that 73 per cent of last year’s complaints were made on the basis that an ad was misleading, while nine per cent were offensive. There were a wide range of other issues covered by the ASAI code raised by members of the public, including concerns about health and beauty, motoring, food and beverages, telecommunications and alcohol ads.

The ASAI was started in 1981 and its code aims to ensure that all ads 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, out of home, radio, television, leaflets/brochures and direct marketing campaigns.

Pictured is Orla Twomey, chief executive, ASAI 





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