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Influenced: ASAI records spike in complaints about health and beauty ads

The sector received the most amount of complaints last year.

The ASAI has previously said it was fielding dozens of complaints about influencers. (File photo)
The ASAI has previously said it was fielding dozens of complaints about influencers. (File photo)
Image: Shutterstock

HEALTH AND BEAUTY ads received the most complaints last year according to the annual report of the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI). 

The ASAI said it received 229 complaints about health and beauty ads last year, a significant increase on the 166 made the year before. 

This made health and beauty the most-complained-about sector, ahead of the leisure industry which accounted for 172 complaints. 

The ASAI has previously said it was fielding dozens of complaints about influencers and added today that its work has had an impact on policy and codes for “influencer marketing and recognisability”.

Under ASAI guidelines, bloggers must ensure that marketing communications are clearly disclosed as such. It recommends that bloggers use “identifiers” on paid posts like the hashtags ‘#ad’ or ‘#sp’ for ‘sponsored’.

The ASAI also points to its influence in areas such as concerns about childhood obesity and mobile and broadband advertising.

Overall, the ASAI said that it received 1,858 written complaints concerning 1,360 advertisements last year. This represents a 10% annual increase on the number of complaints and a 15% increase in the number of ads complained about. 

Digital media gave rise to almost half (48%) of all complaints while TV and radio combined for 30% of complaints. 

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PastedImage-98883 Source: ASAI

CEO of the ASAI Orla Twomey said today that compliance with the adjudications of its complaints committee “demonstrates that advertisers in Ireland are completely on board with the ASAI in our bid to protect consumers”. 

Chairman of the ASAI Sea O’Meara added:

As the advertising ecosystem continues to evolve, it is imperative that the ASAI’s aim of providing consumer protection is properly funded.

While the ASAI has strong support from all traditional media in Ireland, we urge digital organisations to engage both from a compliance and funding point of view to ensure we can continue serving the industry and most importantly, protecting consumers across all advertising and marketing communication.”

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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