Stereotypes, shouty girls and salacious bacon burgers: NZ's 10 most complained about advertisements for 2016 video

An advertisement by 2 Cheap Cars' received the most complaints, with their 'Ahhhh sooold' advertisement being called out ...
JOSEPH JOHNSON/FAIRFAX NZ

An advertisement by 2 Cheap Cars' received the most complaints, with their 'Ahhhh sooold' advertisement being called out for racist stereotyping.

New Zealand's most complained about ads offended viewers for reasons ranging from encouraging illegal behaviour, to racism and inappropriate sexual content.  

The Advertising Standards Authority's (ASA) annual report revealed the country's 10 most complained about ads of 2016.

The number of complaints fell by 17 per cent from the previous year, the report says.

This Old Mout cider ad has been pulled from screens after being deemed offensive for portraying trans women as liars.
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This Old Mout cider ad has been pulled from screens after being deemed offensive for portraying trans women as liars.

ASA head Hilary Souter said the numbers tended to fluctuate as they depended on whether a controversial advertisement was released that year.

With a growing social media presence, people also had more channels to voice their concerns toward an advertisement, Souter said.

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* DB pulls Old Mout ad portraying transwomen as liars

THE TOP TO MOST COMPLAINED ADS IN 2016

From 'Ah so' to Ah Sold', 2 Cheap Cars - Upheld

This advertisement from 2 Cheap Cars, featuring a Japanese car salesman topped the list with 27 complaints claiming it perpetuated racist stereotypes.

The salesman repeatedly says "Ah so" in response to questions the customer.

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When the customer decides to buy a car the salesman says "Ahhhh sooold".

2 Cheap Cars said it had been viewed by more than 10 Japanese people, none of whom found it offensive.

Being Japanese, the directors of the 2 Cheap Cars felt they should be able to express their own culture.

2 Cheap Cars agreed to remove the ad.

If Stoned: Don't Drive, NZTA - Not Upheld

New Zealand Transport Agency's television advertisement showing two men under the influence of drugs involved in a car accident and a scene featuring the driver smoking a bong offended 15 complainants.

The complainants found to be offensive because it was screened during prime time and showed drug use.

But the complaints board said the advertisement contained an important public safety message and was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

What's Polluting the Rivers?, Greenpeace - Not Upheld

Greenpeace television advertisement which claimed that New Zealand rivers were being polluted by industrial dairy farming and irrigation was considered misleading by some viewers who claimed the dairy industry was not solely responsible for the pollution.

Greenpeace argued the impact of intensive dairy farming on water quality was widely documented and Greenpeace should be able to take part in an ongoing national debate on this topic.

You Mean 'Spy on My Neighbours'?, Parallel Imported - Upheld

Parallel Imported apologised for its television ad with the voiced-over catchline "Fly free and film your neighbours with drones", which did not amuse at least 10 people who complained to th ASA.

Complainants said the advertisement encouraged unethical and illegal behaviour and raised privacy concerns.

Parallel Imported apologised for any offence caused and withdrew the ad.

He said: She said, Old Mout Cider- Upheld

DB Breweries scrapped its cider ad which was deemed offensive for portraying transwomen as liars.

The ad, which ran on television and Facebook for Old Mout Cider attracted 10 complaints.

The man speaks with a French accent until the 'voice of God' reveals that his name is actually Stephen, not Jean Paul. Stephen had been lying, but then, so had Brian.

The implication was the woman he was with had also been 'lying', because she was transgender.

The advertisement was upheld as it was transphobic and implied transgender people are deceptive if they do not use the name they are given at birth.

DB apologised for any distress the ad caused and withdrew the ad.

Mummy, why do you only have photos of Danny on the wall?, Canon - Not Upheld

A television advertisement for a Canon printer which showed a girl smashing two vases and a fish bowl because her mother had photos of her brother on the wall and none of her, offended six people.

The complainants said the advertisement promoted the use of bad behaviour but the majority of the complaints board said the girl's reaction was comedic hyperbole.

Did She Just Yell at Me?, 2 Cheap Cars - No Grounds to Proceed

2 Cheap Cars makes a second appearance on the list for being in bad taste and irritating five complainants.

The advertisement featured a girl shouting out the details about a stock liquidation sale.

The board dismissed a claim that the ad was bullying.

Two Maps – Two Stories, NZ Palestine Human Rights Campaign - Not Upheld

Complainants were offended by the billboard advertisement for the New Zealand Palestine Human Rights Campaign featuring two maps comparing the amount of land occupied by both Palestine and Israel in 1947 and then in 2016.

The four complainants said the maps conveyed a misleading impression about the true nature of land ownership in Palestine and Israel.

But in the context of advocacy advertising, the board said the ad was unlikely to mislead.

Too Sexy for My Burger, Carl's Jr - Not Upheld

A Carl's Jr advertisement showing a woman salaciously enjoying a burger offended some people who found the sexual nature of the advert offensive and inappropriate.

Carl's JR said the ad was aimed at "young hungry males" and was classified general except children, so it would not be played during programmes intended for children under 13.

The board found the sexual innuendo did not meet the threshold to cause serious or widespread offence.

Are Batteries Included?, NZ Post - Upheld

New Zealand Post's YouShop postal service email advertisement was misleading because the advertised headphones that contain lithium-ion batteries could not be shipped from the United Kingdom, but the speaker and fitness tracking watch could be shipped from the US, if they were in their original packaging.

New Zealand Post updated the website to make these instructions clearer.

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 - Stuff

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