Most complained about ads in Australia: How KFC cleave ad and Ultra Tune ad infuriated the country 

From a lady ‘adjusting her cleavage’ in front of ogling schoolboys to Pamela Anderson and Warwick Capper’s Baywatch- style beach romp: Australia’s most complained-about ads named and shamed

  • Ad standards revealed the most complained about advertisements in Australia 
  • An Ultra Tune ad with Pamela Anderson topped the list with 309 complaints
  • KFC was second because of their ad having a young woman adjusting her cleavage  

A TELEVISION commercial the place where a busty woman is ogled by school-age boys as she adjusts her cleavage and a Pamela Anderson tyre commercial were the most complained about adverts for the first half this year.

The Ad Standards watchdog has unveiled the most complained about ads in Australia over the past six months all revolved around the seemingly degrading portrayal of women on tv.  

An advertisement by Ultra Tune Australia which featured Pamela Anderson and Warwick Capper in a Baywatch style ad topped the list with received 309 complaints. 

Fast-food giant KFC was second with 187 complaints about an advertisement that showed a new girl looking at the window of a vehicle to adjust her ‘cleavage’ when the window winds down – only and reveals a mother and her shell-shocked sons.  

Fast-food giant KFC came in 2nd with 187 complaints about an advertisement that showed a young woman looking into the window of a car to modify her ‘cleavage’ when the window winds down and reveals a mother and her two sons

The ad received numerous complaints for their portrayal of sexuality, nudity, exploitative or degrading scenarios and the discrimination or vilification of women

The ad received numerous complaints for their portrayal of sexuality, nudity, exploitative or degrading scenarios and the discrimination or vilification of women

Both ads received numerous complaints for their portrayal of sexuality, nudity, exploitative or degrading scenarios and the discrimination or vilification of women. 

But all the complaints against the two advertisements were dismissed by the regulator.  

Ultra Tune regularly features on the Ad Standards list for its design of television commercfials. 

But KFC owner Yum! Restaurants issued something of an apology after the ad sparked an online backlash. 

‘We apologise if anyone was offended by our latest commercial,’ the company said in a statement. 

‘Our intention had not been to stereotype women and young boys in an adverse light.’

KFC also earned the third and fourth placement on the most complained about ads list – the very first time one company has received three different spots. 

The third advertisement depicted an awkward moment where a boy tells a girl whilst laying in bed he loves her and she replies with ‘thank you.’ 

It received 66 complaints if you are sexual, exploitative, degrading and discriminatory towards women. 

The fourth ad showed a student completing an exam who sees his friends outside with KFC and says ‘bucket’ whilst leaving the exam to join his friends. 

This ad received 41 complaints for using bad language and being discriminatory and vilifying towards its main character. 

An advertisement by Ultra Tune Australia which featured Pamela Anderson and Warwick Capper in a Baywatch style ad topped the list and received 309 complaints

An advertisement by Ultra Tune Australia which featured Pamela Anderson and Warwick Capper in a Baywatch style ad topped the list and received 309 complaints

Collective Shout, a grassroots campaigns movement against the objectification of women the sexualisation of girls, light emitting diode campaigns against the Ultra Tune and KFC adverts. 

Campaigns Manager for Collective Shout, Melinda Liszewski, said the self-regulated advertising industry harms community interests.

‘Ad Standards gives the illusion of regulation. But as its own ‘most complained about’ list shows, demeaning, sexist ads are not regulated. They’re actually endorsed,’ Liszewski said.

‘Even when complaints are upheld you will find no penalties for non-compliance.’ 

In total, 1,747 complaints were lodged to 30 June, with community concerns raised about 206 adverts assessed against one or more problems. 

Of the adverts listed, 14 were withdrawn from broadcast with advertisers choosing to change or remove the content that received the complaints.

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