2013 Consumer Complaints

ASC’s Consumer Complaint Procedure is essential to maintaining public confidence in advertising. And, in 2013, we accepted and responded to 1,286 consumer complaints pertaining to 1,075 advertisements.

Throughout 2013, ASC’s independent Councils adjudicated 100 complaints about 71 advertisements. Of these, 79 complaints were upheld about 50 advertisements that were found to contravene one of more Code clauses.

For the third consecutive year, a higher percentage of consumer complaints submitted to ASC involved issues of truth or accuracy (467 complaints) than concerns about advertising that was considered to be offensive (289 complaints). This trend aligns with the findings from our consumer research and confirms that for Canadians truth is paramount.

2013 highlights:

  • Retail advertising generated more complaints than any other category of advertising, consistent with previous years.
  • Advertising on television garnered the highest number of complaints of any medium, followed by advertising in digital media.
  • Frequently cited concerns include those about ads that omit important conditions of an offer, such as costs and terms, and illegibility of disclaimers in retail advertising.

To learn more, read the complete 2013 Annual Ad Complaints Report 2013 Year in Review