Canadian Magazine Industry News
22 March 2012,     TORONTO
Magazine ads receive fewest consumer complaints: report
The 2011 Ad Complaints Report is out, and while consumer complaints were at a decade high, magazines were mostly spared the brunt of reader beefs.

The report, from self-regulatory national not-for-profit body Advertising Standards Canada (ASC), notes its organization received 1,809 consumer complaints in 2011 regarding 1,153 ads — "the highest number in over a decade". In comparison, the report shows 1,200 complaints were received for 743 ads in 2010.

Ad complaints by media in 2011
Ad complaints by media in 2011

The most complaints last year related to television ads at 38 percent [ASC said the high number is consistent with previous years]. Internet ads ranked second at 19 percent, newspapers received a 10 percent share of consumer heat, while magazines received... wait for it... 0.5 percent of the total complaints, or just nine of the 1,809.

Janet Feasby, vice president, standards for ASC, said the organization typically doesn't get many complaints relating to magazine ads — there were 24 in 2010, and 30 in 2009. "All I can think of, is that unlike newspapers and flyers, you don't tend to find many retailer ads in magazines," noted Feasby. "Most of the complaints that we get about advertising in print media relate to inaccurate price advertising."

That being said, retail-geared ads garnered 252 complaints in 2011, which topped the list by category according to the report [service ads ranked second, food in third].

To download the full ad complaints report, click here.
— Jeff Hayward
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