Online ad moans soar as mail dips

Individual complaints about direct mail campaigns have fallen by over 20% in the past year, although this has been more than offset by soaring Internet and email protests which have risen 282% and 43% respectively, according to the ASA Annual Report.
Overall, the regulator received a record number of complaints during 2011 (31,458), compared with 2010 (25,214), although this was mainly because of the extension of its remit to advertisers’ own claims on their own websites and other social spaces.
The impact of the change in regulation was immediate, with T-Mobile being banned from using the line ‘Truly unlimited internet’ not only on its poster and press ads, but also on its own website.
In the first ten months, the ASA received 7,195 online remit complaints about 6,631 cases. Online remit cases comprised 29% of all cases received – far higher than the forecasted level – and contributing to a 71% increase in cases overall, with only a 15% increase in staff. Salaries and direct staff costs rose from £4.3m to £4.9m.
In terms of direct and digital, Internet complaints rocketed from 2,648 to 10,123, email went up from 739 to 1,096 and direct mail fell from 932 to 740 during the 12-period.
ASA chairman Lord Smith said: “The online remit has hugely increased our workload, with numbers of complaints and cases substantially up on previous years. But through the dedicated commitment of our staff, we’ve stepped up to the task, and have managed to maintain our efficiency, our standards of service, and the care with which we scrutinise the claims we are called upon to consider.”

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  1. We all hate Gino, apart from ASA

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