There was a 12 per cent decrease in the number of complaints received by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) in 2021.
According to new figures released by the authority, total of 1,450 written complaints concerning 959 advertisements were received in 2021.
The 'Travel/Holiday' sector attracted the greatest number of complaints with 207. This was followed by the 'Leisure' sector at 151 and 'Household' at 145.
Digital media accounted f0r 48 per cent (696) of all complaints, while complaints relating to broadcast media (TV and radio combined) totalled 603.
Of the 696 digital media complaints, 77 complaints related to influencer marketing advertisements, which were 5 per cent of all complaints received.
The ASAI found 68 advertisements were in breach of the ASAI’s Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing Communications.
The ASAI Annual Report details that 73 per cent of the complaints made in 2021 were on the basis that an advertisement was misleading.
Meanwhile, nine per cent were made on the basis that an advertisement was offensive.
Other concerns around advertising raised by the public included health and beauty, motoring, food and beverages, telecommunications and alcohol advertising.
Suzanne McElligott, interim chair of the ASAI, commented: “From initial beginnings on Kildare Street, Dublin 40 years ago, the ASAI has developed and evolved to being recognised for its strong standards and expert knowledge on advertising regulation.
“Equally, ASAI is regarded as a key player alongside relevant State and private sector organisations operating in this space.
“With the economic impact of the COVID pandemic resulting in a contraction of advertising spend in 2020, the industry experienced a recovery to pre-pandemic levels in 2021.
“ASAI has experienced a corresponding reduction in advertising complaint levels over the pandemic period, compared to the immediate prior years, even with the recovery in advertising activity.
“Fostering consumer confidence and trust in advertising offline and online continues as a core objective of the ASAI and the robust complaints mechanism for consumers to challenge advertising content remains an imperative for the industry and for ASAI to facilitate and support.”