UK

Men most likely to complain over misleading adverts

Moneysupermarket.com advert Image copyright Moneysupermarket.com
Image caption Complaints in 2015 about ads being offensive were more likely to come from women

Men complain about adverts more than women and people in Greater London and the South East are the most likely to raise their concerns, figures show.

The Advertising Standards Authority said 56% of complaints came from men compared with 41% of women, with the remainder not revealing their gender.

Men were more likely to complain about ads being misleading, at 64% of complaints.

Adverts being harmful or offensive compelled 59% of women's complaints.

Across the UK, people in England complained twice as much as those in Northern Ireland.

'Body shaming'

ASA chief executive Guy Parker said a single complaint was capable of stopping an irresponsible advert and helped gauge public feeling.

"I think there is more concern about gender stereotyping, body image, body shaming, depiction of characteristics that traditionally have been considered to be male or female now than there was 20 years ago," he told the BBC.

In 2015 the ASA handled 29,500 complaints and a record 4,584 adverts were changed or withdrawn.

A price comparison website advert featuring a man in high heels and hotpants, flaunting his bottom, was 2015's most complained-about advert.

It drew 1,513 complaints due to its "overtly sexual" content. But they were not upheld by the ASA.

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