stat attack

85% of advertising complaints due to poor marketing compliance

6th Jun 2016

New research from Teradata Marketing Applications has revealed that the vast majority of public complaints that are upheld by the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) are a result of poor compliance.

The study of over 1,400 complaints make to the advertising body between January 2013 and December 2015 found that non-compliance was widespread, for example making misleading or false claims about products and services.

The findings suggest that non-compliance is a major issue in UK marketing communications, with the study finding that a massive 93.4% of all complaints were upheld due to compliance issues of some kind, with the remainder being triggered by negative responses to the creative elements of campaigns.

Some 7.6% of all upheld complaints were found to have breached both compliance and creative guidelines, while an alarming 85.7% of campaigns had ASA complaints upheld for compliance issues alone.

At an industry level, the beauty sector was the main culprit. The study found that health & beauty campaigns were the source of 252 upheld complaints over three years, or17.6% of all upheld ASA rulings, ahead of sectors including leisure (17%), business (14.2%) and retail (13.2%).

Interestingly, while the financial services sector has generated significant ASA attention in recent years, significantly fewer financial campaigns had complaints upheld by the ASA than sectors such as health & beauty.

Brands’ own websites were the source of nearly half (41%) of all upheld ASA rulings, almost four times as many infractions as TV ads (11% of all upheld rulings) or direct mail campaigns, leaflets and circulars (7%).


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