Online ad complaints 'outnumber TV three-to-one'

Josh Hall's picture
by Josh Hall

The Advertising Standards Authority has said that it received three times as many complaints about online ads as it did about TV ads during 2018.

The Authority's annual report says it received just over 16,000 complaints about online ads during the year - a 41 per cent increase on 2017. This compares with just 10,773 complaints about TV ads.

The report also reviews the other work the ASA carried out during the year, that it says help to "tackle consumer harms".

Perhaps the most widely-known of these is its action against secondary ticketing websites such as Viagogo.

But the ASA also conducted work to make claims about "UK delivery" clearer, to ensure that consumers can read superimposed text on TV broadcasts, and to provide new guidance on gambling advertising.

Commenting on the report, ASA chief executive Guy Parker said: “It’s been a busy year, largely driven by complaints and cases about online ads. That’s why our new five-year strategy is focused on strengthening further the regulation of online advertising and using new tech to protect the public. Our recent use of new avatar technology is a taste of what’s to come under the new strategy and we look forward to working with our partners to increase further the impact we’re having online.”

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