Phones4U’s advert inspired by horror movie The Ring was the most complained about ad of 2011 according to the Advertising Standards Authority.
Retailers filled five of the top 10 most complained ad list last year, with three entries for the mobile phones retailer.
Its ad which shows a woman who sees a ghost-like girl with a mobile phone in an underground car park, with a voiceover which says: “missing our deals will haunt you”, topped the list. It received 659 complaints from viewers who said it was “offensive, irresponsible, unduly distressing and inappropriately scheduled”.
Littlewoods’ Christmas ad, which features children singing about presents bought by their mothers, was second in the list with 585 complaints.
Sofa retailer CSL’s ad which featured models posing and dancing in lingerie was third with 260 grievances.
Two further Phones4U ad, a press ad which ran during Easter with a cartoon of a winking Jesus Christ and a TV advert featuring a man being chased through the woods by a zombie, ranked eighth and tenth in the most complains list.
Only the Phones4U Jesus Christ ad grievances were upheld as the ASA deemed it disrespectful to the Christian faith and likely to cause serious offence. The mobile phones retailer’s The Ring advert was however, given a post 19.30 scheduling restriction.