The 2011 Annual Report shows how both the ASA and CAP are constantly adapting to keep pace with changes in society and advertising practices to ensure UK ads remain legal, decent honest and truthful.

The Annual Report reveals that:

  • Over the last five decades the ASA has dealt with around 431,000 complaints. In 2011, the ASA experienced a record year, receiving 31,458 complaints about 22,397 ads with 4,591 ads changed or withdrawn
  • In March 2011, the ASA’s remit was extended significantly to cover companies’ own advertising on their own websites and in other social media they control - bringing enhanced protection for consumers.
  • The extension of the ASA’s online remit contributed to a 71% increase in cases overall resulting in 7,195 online remit complaints about 6,631 ads.

We also reveal in the report the most complained about ads of all time which, although they show us what gets people talking, don’t reflect the less glamorous day-to-day work we do to protect consumers by dealing with misleading claims. Overall, nearly 80% of cases are about misleading advertising and 20% about harm and offence.

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