Violence In Advertising On The Rise In Australia, Says Industry Watchdog – The Drum


July 8, 2022 | 3 min read
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The depiction of violence in advertising is rising in Australia, according to the advertising industry watchdog.
Australian advertising industry watchdog Ad Standards reports rise in violence in ads
Ad Standards reported advertising for some “big brands” have attracted the highest number of complaints in the first half of 2022 for their depictions of violence.
The watchdog received a total of 1133 complaints between 1 January and 30 June with viewers concerned about violence, sex, sexuality and nudity, and discrimination or vilification.
A total of 25 ads were reviewed against the depiction of violence section of the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) Code of Ethics.
Ads for Apple, Cancer Council Victoria, iSelect, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Transport Accident Commission and Uber were among the complaints.
A total of four ads were found in breach of the rules. An ad by insurance comparison company iSelect was one of the upheld complaints. The ad, which featured “Chris Hemsworth’s good looking stunt double” performing a number of movie-style stunts, was determined to “present or portray violence which was not justifiable in the context of the product or service advertised and did breach Section 2.3 of the Code.”
The second most complained about issue of 2022 was sex, sexuality and nudity with a total of 36 cases raised and three ads found in breach of this section of the AANA Code. The third most complained about issue was discrimination or vilification. With 28 cases created and five ads found in breach of this section of the Code.
The platforms that attracted the most complaints are free-to-air TV, Instagram and pay TV.
Ad Standards urged advertisers to “carefully consider the rules” when producing advertising content. The body also issued a warning to brands about greenwashing.
“We’ve also seen an increase in complaints about environmental claims. Advertisers should be aware that the community is increasingly concerned that any claim about an environmental benefit be well substantiated,” Ad Standards said in a statement.
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