Gocompare.com has the most complained about adverts of 2012
It's official - those adverts featuring the world's most irritating opera singer, Gio Compario, were the most complained about ads in the UK in 2012.
The Advertising Standards Authority said Gocompare.com's adverts took the first two spots in its list of the top ten most complained about ads of last year.
In first place is an advert in which former footballer Stuart Pearce kicks a football into the stomach of the corpulent tenor, notching 1,008 complaints in total. Taking second place is the ad in which Sue Barker shoots Gio Compario with a rocket launcher – it recorded 797 complaints.
It means Gocompare.com's adverts attracted almost as many complaints as the next five ads in the ASA's annual list combined.
But the ASA did not uphold any of the complaints. In both cases it said the adverts were neither offensive nor harmful and both were "light-hearted and comical".
A spokesman for Gocompare.com said: "Our celebrity-led advertisements - which aired from July 2012 to March 2013 - were our way of saying: 'we get it, Gio's singing gets on your nerves, so let's have some fun trying to silence him!'. The adverts in that series were generally well received and people understood the humour that was intended by them."
Does Gio Compario irritate you? Do Gocompare.com have the worst adverts in the personal finance sector? What's your most disliked advert of the last year? Share your thoughts below.
The top ten most complained about adverts in full*
1. Gocompare.com – 1,008 complaints
2. Gocompare.com – 797
3. Asda's Christmas ad (complained about for being sexist) – 620
4. Channel 4's My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding print ads – 373
5. Kerry Foods (nudity in a Richmond Ham ad) – 371
6. Paddy Power (online ad offensive to the transgender community) – 311
7. Kellogg's (man being attacked by snake in cereal ad) – 234
8. Morrisons (feeding Christmas pudding to a dog) – 234
9. Kayak Software Corporation (brain surgery in it caused distress) – 189
10. St John Ambulance (cancer survivor choking on food) – 144.
* Only complaints against Channel Four, Kerry Foods and Kayak were upheld in part.