ASA announces most complained about ads ever in 50th anniversary Annual Report

27 May 2024

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has released its 2023 Annual Report, marking half a century of advertising self-regulation.

Founded by industry in 1973, the ASA has worked for five decades to support responsible advertising, setting the standards by which industry must comply and running a free-to-consumer complaints process.

The 2023 Annual Report celebrates the colourful history of advertising in Aotearoa New Zealand, and reveals the top five most complained about ads in the ASA’s records. The report outlines the priorities for the ASA over the past year; delivering an efficient free-to-consumer complaints process, supporting industry compliance through high-quality training and resources, and adapting to serve the evolving media landscape.

Highlights from our report include:

  • 1086 complaints about 313 advertisements, of which 108 were requested to be removed or amended, with a compliance rate of 99%.
  • Our commitment to training across the industry
  • A timeline of the ASA’s history and the top five most complained about ads in the last 50 years.

ASA Chief Executive, Hilary Souter, says “The system we have in place today was born from the vision of industry members half a century ago to ensure that advertising in New Zealand was truthful, decent, and responsible. Much has changed since that time – from how advertising is created to how it is consumed, along with consumer expectations regarding ad content. The ASA is platform-neutral and has proven its ability to effectively regulate in a constantly evolving landscape.

We are grateful for the support of our industry members, whose commitment to self-regulation ensures we can focus on our vision of ensuring every ad is a responsible ad. We also acknowledge and thank consumers and the wider industry for their engagement with our work, which has been crucial to our success and longevity.”

To view the ASA 2023 Annual Report on our website, click here.

To learn more about the ASA’s 50th anniversary, click here.