Singapore consumers submitted 304 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS) last year – with a significant change in the categories most complained about.
The feedback includes advertising advice and complaints that are both consumer-to-business and business-to-business in nature.
Most of the feedback handled by the ASAS was for consumer-to-business complaints – numbering 277 – with business-to-business complaints at 17 and government agencies lodging six.
Of those, an increase has been recorded in the feedback received over food and beverage and restaurant advertisements. Food and beverage ads drew 26 complaints, while restaurant advertisements drew 23.
A snack and food company received the most complaints last year over “sexually-suggestive marketing material” placed on the stall’s social media platform. It was removed following ASAS’s engagement.
Similarly, electrical and electronic products recorded 26 complaints on advertisements. The feedback was mainly on direct-to-consumer brands (D2C), mainly on advertisers who only have an online-only presence selling electronic products from manufacturers to consumers.
A recurring issue raised by the complainants is the false claims that D2C advertisers make in the nature of savings, pricing promotions while selling their products. The quality, availability, popularity and effectiveness of electrical and electronic products were also points of concern.
Prof Ang Peng Hwa, Chairman of ASAS reminded advertisers they have an obligation to comply with the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice (SCAP) like everyone else.
“ASAS will monitor the feedback we receive on advertisements and will not hesitate to refer recalcitrant offenders to the relevant authorities.”