European Trends in Advertising Complaints in 2016

Every year, EASA collects statistical data from its advertising self-regulatory organisation (SRO) members in Europe and beyond. The annual statistical reports contain analyses of complaints, copy advice requests and pre-clearance data.

They are a useful and important instrument in determining and anticipating trends in complaints about ads as well as in identifying any problematic sectors or issues. EASA and its members use these findings to ensure more focused discussions with particular sectors.

In 2016,

  • 65,040 complaints related to 32,797 advertisements were received by the European SROs in 2016
  • The UK and Germany accounted for a total of 66% of all complaints received in Europe, while the most complained about advertisement originated in Hungary
  • Misleading advertising remained the most complained about issue (40% of complaints) but concerns over taste and decency continued to increase (37% of complaints)
  • On average, SROs resolved 91% of received complaints within two months
  • Digital Marketing Communications remained the most complained about medium (33% of complaints)
  • Advertisements for leisure services, health and beauty products and retail were the most complained about
  • 150 complaints were cross-border in nature, showing a 9% increase from last year
  • 81,398 requests for copy advice were submitted to the SROS in 2016
  • 88,236 ads were pre-cleared by the three SROs providing this service

Download the full report here. Access previous reports here.

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