'Hard-hitting' charity and public services ads have been deemed as most harmful and offensive to consumers, according to new research.
A study from the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), conducted by Ipsos MORI, found that one in six adults (16%) claimed to have been personally offended by an ad in the last year, a drop from 2002's figure of 19%.
Just under a third of children aged 11-16 surveyed said they had been bothered by an ad in the last 12 months, the figures showed.
The study – which used qualitative and quantitative research to understand the public’s views on what is harmful and offensive in UK advertising – also found children were most affected by charity ads.
Additionally, the research showed that consumers felt the wider media showed stronger harmful and offensive content than advertising.
Chairman of the ASA, Lord Smith said: “This research is invaluable in giving us the opportunity to listen to what the public thinks on matters of harm and offence in ads. While it is reassuring that we generally seem to be getting things right, we cannot ignore the real concerns that have been raised, particularly around children.”