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Tuesday 7 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
# misleading
Health and beauty ads attracted the most complaints to the watchdog body last year
The total number of complaints increased nearly 60% last year.

ADS FOR HEALTH and beauty products generated the most complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority Ireland (ASAI) last year.

In total, over 2,100 complaints about more than 1,000 advertisements were made to the watchdog body last year. That figure represents a jump of 58% on 2016.

The ‘Health and Beauty’ sector attracted the highest number of complaints about individual ads, while ‘Digital Media’ gave rise to the highest number of complaints by sector the ads appeared on.

The ASAI annual report reveals that 61% of the total complaints about ads were on the basis that they were misleading, while 12% were made on the basis that an advertisement was offensive.

There were also a wide range of other issues that were raised by members of the public, including concerns about alcohol advertising, employment and business opportunities and financial services.

Speaking at the launch of the annual report, ASAI CEO, Orla Twomey, said: “The ASAI experienced a 58% surge in complaints since last year, a trend we expect to continue going forward.

Despite a large increase in the number of complaints, we’re delighted to see that compliance with the adjudications of the independent Complaints Committee has remained consistent.

The Complaints Committee is an independent arm of the ASAI that is responsible for complaints submitted by the public.


Digital media has been increasing steadily year on year. In 2010 it represented 22% of all complaints by sector while last year it represented 43%.

Complaints relating to broadcast media (TV and radio combined) totalled 567, a jump of more than 200 on last year, while outdoor media attracted 138 complaints.

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