Welsh people less likely to complain about adverts than English or Scots, authority says
People in Wales are the least likely in Great Britain to complain about adverts they don’t like, research has found.
Analysis by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found Scottish people were the most likely to lodge a complaint when they saw an advert thy didn’t like.
The ASA, who regulate ads across TV, online, radio and billboards, found that complaints from Scots accounted for 10.6% of ASA cases in 2021 despite them making up 8.2 per cent of the population.
The English too were over-represented among the complainers, with 84.3% of the population but 85.1% of the complaints.
In Wales, however, despite making up 4.7% of the population, they accounted for only 4.0% of the complaints.
The Scots were also more likely to complain in cases where the ASA found that there was ‘no issue’ with the ads, being responsible for 10.9% of the complaints where no issue was found.
The Welsh meanwhile were overrepresented in cases where the ads were found to have caused harm (5.5%) or offence (6.1%).
A spokesman said: “We’ve analysed the figures for each home nation as a percentage of the UK population, providing us with an insight into distinct variations between the nations. Proportionately, people in Scotland are more inclined to lodge a complaint about an ad, whether on the grounds of misleadingness, harm or offence, than people in any of the other nations.
“As this is the first year we’ve run these figures there is no comparative data that enables us to identify any mid to long-term trends.
“While the reasons for complaints from Scotland being higher at a population level are unclear it could be explained, in part, by a national ad campaign the ASA ran between September 2020 and March 2021.
“It resulted in a statistically significant increase (56 per cent versus 50 per cent) in Scottish adults who are now more certain that an organisation exists to complain to about advertising, driven by those who had seen the ASA’s ad,” the spokesman said.
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