Feeds

Online ads draw record complaints

ASA has its hands full

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

The number of complaints concerning online advertisements has rocketed over the last 12 months as more and more companies use the Net, email and SMS to flog their products and services.

What's more, the UK's advertising watchdog sees no sign of a change to this trend as new technologies come online, according to the Advertising Standards Authority's (ASA) annual report.

Complaints about text message ads rose from 65 in 2002 to 393 last year, while the number of objections about email ads shot up from 17 to 455.

Internet-related ads generated 1,100 complaints - up from 1,015 in 2002 - making this the fifth most complained-about media type last year, behind junk mail, posters, and newspaper and magazine ads.

Although the total number of complaints received by the ASA increased from 13,788 to 14,041 in 2003, the number of complaints about ads from companies in the computer and telecoms sector fell by around 150.

Even so, the tech sector remains the second most complained-about industry sector in the UK, behind only leisure.

Highlighting the challenges facing the ASA, the reports details the case of Tornado Exec Ltd, which texted people urging them to call a premium rate line to collect a £1,000 prize. None of those who called the number and who contacted the ASA has ever received their prize.

The report also highlighted the case of a marketing campaign for the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report, which used "menacing" voicemail containing heavy breathing and screams to promote the film.

The report said: "The increasing popularity of email and SMS marketing campaigns means more work for the ASA. As the number of advertisements produced and distributed in the UK increases with every new technological development, it is inevitable that complaints figures will rise." ®

Related stories

Movie outfit slammed for menacing voicemail
Creative laptop-in-the-bath ad banned
Nokia's N-Gage ads are violent and sinister
Lastminute.com cleared of mocking the Christian faith
Evesham slapped for spamming
ASA slaps Nodots scam
Watchdog bans Apple Power Mac G5 ads
Mortal Kombat ad condoned violence
Daily Mail group buys Jobsite for £35m
The pop-up ad is dead (nearly)
Online ad spending on the up

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.