Advertising Standards Bureau reveal Australia’s 10 most offensive ads of 2015

The Advertising Standards Bureau of Australia recently released case reports on the most complained-about advertisements in 2015.

Here are the top 10 commercials the Australian people found offensive this year, including why viewers considered each inappropriate. We’ve included a sample comment from each case report, and whether the ASB chose to take the ad off the air.

The scene: Three women trimming bonsai plants in front of their crotches.
Complaints: 53
Why: Sexual content/nudity
Sample: “It is rude. It gives girls the impression they need to do shave there [sic] selves in their private parts.”
Verdict: Complaints dismissed

The scene: TV ad featuring people saying “oh sheet”.
Complaints: 56
Why: Inappropriate Language
Sample:  “This is trying to be a smutty play on words or something, given the similarity of sheet and shit.”
Verdict: Complaints dismissed

The scene: A woman flicks her belt at a snake.
Complaints: 59
Why: Animal cruelty
Sample: “If she did the same thing to a puppy would that be OK … just because it’s a snake…”
Verdict: Complaints dismissed

The scene: A man kisses a woman, and then a man.
Complaints: 62
Why: Sexuality
Sample: “I am offended by the part where he kisses another man. I find it awkward and offensive to have to see that.”
Verdict: Complaints dismissed

The scene: Rebel Wilson calls her cat a “big pussy.”
Complaints: 66
Why: Sexuality
Sample: “Reference to female genitalia and the smelling of same. Inappropriate innuendo.”
Verdict: Complaints dismissed


The scene: A sweaty man wipes himself down at the gym.
Complaints: 71
Why: Other social values
Sample: “Person wiping his testicles with a towel and then wiping sweat off his underarms and then to go on to sniff it is totally disgusting and offensive.”
Verdict: Complaints dismissed

The scene: A woman on her period transforms into a fatter, angrier and more hysterical version of herself.
Complaints: 76
Why: Misogyny
Sample: “The woman that has her period says she feels like she’s sitting on a jam donut. It is disgusting and I feel embarrassed as a woman seeing that foul ad!”
Verdict: Complaints dismissed

The scene: A woman licks chip flavoring off a man’s lips.
Complaints: 85
Why: Sexuality
Sample: “This commercial has a perverted nature, it’s basically soft porn. l find it extremely offensive that l watch a female licking the male’s face around his mouth in a sexual manner.”
Verdict: Complaints dismissed

The scene: TV ad features men singing about “looking for someone other than my wife”.
Complaints: 138
Why: Discrimination or Vilification Gender
Sample: “I object to this advertising because it is promoting promiscuity in married men. I also find it sexist that only men are encouraged to commit adultery in their marriage, not women.”
Verdict: Complaints upheld; commercial taken off the air.

The scene: A man drives his young son down the road and says “bloody caravaners.” His son then parrots him.
Complaints: 161
Why: Inappropriate language
Sample: “This ad is wrong on many levels including berating drivers who are being cautious, promoting a form of road rage that could cause drivers to overtake slower vehicles too soon while encouraging children to be intolerant.”
Verdict: Complaints dismissed

You must be logged in to post a comment Login