2009’s most complained about ads

NZ Herald 4 June 2010

It’s possible Andy Haden might have liked it, but a Hell Pizza billboard advertising gluten free brownies annoyed more people than any other in 2009. The billboard carried the catch phrase “at least our brownie won’t eat your pet dog”, a reference to Tongan Paea Taufa being found roasting the pitbull terrier-cross in an umu at his Mangere home. The advertisement was the most complained about ad last year, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said in its annual report, which upheld 62 complaints about it. The “brownie” ad did not meet a due sense of social responsibility, was distasteful and reasonably likely to cause serious or widespread offence, the ASA said.

Hell Pizza regularly puts the topping on the ASA list, with its 2006 “Lust Pizza” condom-containing random direct mail promotion arousing a still-record 685 complaints.