Adverts can be tricky to get right. They have to memorable, attention catching and inoffensive at the
same time. This has gotten even more difficult over time as society has become more PC than ever,
as well as it being easier than ever to lodge complaints through platforms such as social media.
Social media has also meant that more companies try and push the boundaries of their
advertisements in order to become viral. For some this works, for some it backfires. Here are the
most complained about adverts of 2017 courtesy of the ASA:
1. The Most Complained About Adverts: KFC – 755 Complaints
The United Kingdom’s most complained about advert of 2017 was KFC’s dancing chicken advert. In
the advert, the chicken is depicted dancing to a rap soundtrack appearing to be ready for slaughter.
The complaints were made on the grounds that it was “disrespectful to chickens” as well as being
potentially upsetting for vegetarians, vegans and children. The complaint was not upheld.
2. Moneysupermarket.com – 455 Complaints
In second place is money advice service Money Supermarket’s advert. The advert features strutters
and builders dancing in the street. Complaints were made on the grounds that the advertisement
was overly sexual and could have possible homosexual tones. The ASA viewed the advert as
acceptable and it continued airing.
3. Unilever (Dove) – 391 Complaints
The first of the adverts on the list that were pulled from the public. Dove’s adverts were originally on
social media, magazines and their website. They featured the opinions that people had of breastfeeding
in public. Some of the language used in the adverts meant that people thought that it
encouraged criticism of breastfeeding. Dove pulled the adverts on their own accord.
4. Match.com – 293 Complaints
The matchmaking services advert depicts a lesbian couple kissing in a passionate way. Viewers who
complained said that the advert was too sexual for television – especially for any children that were
watching. The complaints were never upheld as it was ruled acceptable for the public.
5. McDonald’s – 256 Complaints
The fast-food chain’s advert shows a boy and his mother talking about his dead father. As she
describes the similarities between them he starts to get more upset – until she says that they both
loved the filet-o- fish product. Complainers said that the advert “trivialised grief” and would be
uncomfortable to view for viewers who had lost a loved one. McDonald’s pulled the advert on their