Lodge a complaint

Ad Standards BoardHave you seen an advertisement, music video or TV program that sexualises children or objectifies women?

Do you want to speak out about something you've heard on the radio or seen on the internet?

Making an official complaint can seem complicated. Use our guide below to find out where to direct your complaint. (Scroll down for some points on what to include in your complaint.) 

What's your complaint about?


Advertising

  • An ad on TV
  • An ad outside - billboard, bus shelter, shop sign
  • An ad on the radio
  • Or a print ad, for example magazine or newspaper

You will need to make a complaint to the Advertising Standards Board. Complaints can be lodged online and take 5-10 minutes to complete.

Your complaint can refer to the following codes:

SECTION 2 CONSUMER COMPLAINTS

2.1 Advertising or Marketing Communications shall not portray people or depict material in a way which discriminates against or vilifies a person or section of the community on account of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, sexual preference, religion, disability, mental illness or political belief.

2.2 Advertising or marketing communications should not employ sexual appeal in a manner which is exploitative and degrading of any individual or group of people.

2.3 Advertising or Marketing Communications shall not present or portray violence unless it is justifiable in the context of the product or service advertised.

2.4 Advertising or Marketing Communications shall treat sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience.

2.5 Advertising or Marketing Communications shall only use language which is appropriate in the circumstances (including appropriate for the relevant audience and medium). Strong or obscene language shall be avoided.

2.6 Advertising or Marketing Communications shall not depict material contrary to Prevailing Community Standards on health and safety

Click here to make a complaint to the Advertising Standards Board.

Click here to read the City of Melbourne Guide to Reporting Sexist Advertising


 

Media Content:

  • Content of a TV program
  • Content of a radio program
  • Internet content (including online child sexual abuse or other prohibited content)

You will need to submit a complaint to the Australian Communications and Media Authority. (ACMA)

However, before you submit a complaint about TV or radio, you will first need to submit complaints to the relevant stations.


 

Commercial Television

You will need to submit a complaint to the television station first. This can be easily done through Free TV Australia's online lodgement system. If you do not receive a response from the TV station within 60 days, or you receive an inadequate response, then you can forward your complaint to the Australian Communications and Media Authority. (ACMA)

Click here to submit a complaint through FreeTV Australia


 

Radio

Complaints need to be made directly to the radio station first. If you do not receive a response from the Radio Station within 60 days, or you receive an inadequate response, then you can forward your complaint to the ACMA.

More information about ACMA broadcasting complaints including TV and Radio here.


 

Internet

Complaints about internet content including online child sexual abuse and other prohibited online content can be submitted directly to the ACMA.

ACMA hotline combatting online child sexual abuse

ACMA offensive or illegal online content


 

Some information you can include in your complaint letter:

1) Have you seen the latest research on media and sexualisation? http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00224499.2016.1142496

"A total of 109 publications that contained 135 studies were reviewed. The findings provided consistent evidence that both laboratory exposure and regular, everyday exposure to this content are directly associated with a range of consequences, including higher levels of body dissatisfaction, greater self-objectification, greater support of sexist beliefs and of adversarial sexual beliefs, and greater tolerance of sexual violence toward women. Moreover, experimental exposure to this content leads both women and men to have a diminished view of women’s competence, morality, and humanity.”

2) Please also see this information on Our Watch’s website http://www.ourwatch.org.au/Preventing-Violence/Men

WHAT DRIVES VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN?

Violence against women is serious and prevalent. It is primarily driven by gender inequality, and reinforced or exacerbated by a number of other factors. 

Gender inequality is a situation in which women and men do not have equal power, resources or opportunities, and that their voices, ideas and work are not valued equally by society.

Gender inequality provides the underlying social conditions for violence against women. It operates at many levels – from social and cultural norms (the dominant ideas about men and women in a society), to economic structures (such as the pay gap between men and women), to organisational, community, family and relationship practices.

 

3) And this from Make the Link: https://makethelink.org.au/2015/08/17/gender-stereotypes-sexist-jokes/ 

Violence against women is based upon a foundation of unequal power between men and women, something that has been embedded historically in our society and in our relationships. We see this imbalance acted out in many ways, even today. It is in the jokes we tell, the language we use and in the way that men and women are represented in all types of media.

To overthrow the epidemic of violence in our community we must start at the very beginning and shake the foundation that supports it. You can start to do this today. Gender stereotyping and sexist jokes are present in most of our lives, we see them and hear them everywhere we go.

They are not harmless.

4) To see how pervasive this problem has become see also this article which shows SOME of the collected images in 30 mins at Chadstone shopping centre http://www.collectiveshout.org/all_this_and_more_in_30_minutes

5) Sex doesn't actually sell anyway according to this study: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-18/sex-doesn-t-sell-after-all-study-says

6) Please sign the Collective Shout Corporate Social Responsibility Pledge http://www.collectiveshout.org/corporate_social_responsibility_pledge

 

 


Showing 23 reactions

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  • commented 2016-05-25 15:22:22 +1000
  • commented 2016-05-25 15:21:04 +1000
  • commented 2016-05-25 15:19:25 +1000
    go look at their latest job vacancy add!! @ceriteracontentagency
  • @CollectiveShout tweeted this page. 2016-05-19 11:13:03 +1000
    Seen an ad that objectifies women or sexualises children? Lodge a complaint here http://www.collectiveshout.org/lodge_a_complaint?recruiter_id=30544
  • commented 2016-02-17 23:45:18 +1100
    I’ve just complained about the images you are faced with if you type in “Porn” on Google Images. The kids are all checking it out at school. It’s no wonder my Grade 1 daughter was sexually assaulted by Grade 1 boys. Seriously, how can we allow these images to be so easily accessed?!
  • commented 2016-02-02 09:33:32 +1100
    Jenness, it is obvious that these guys are cowboys, and it looks like the Advertising Standards Board is no better. In response to my complaint, they (the ASB) sent back a “dismissal” letter of the complaint, dated from mid-2014 – they didn’t even bother to review this year’s advertising. Within that email, they enclosed a letter from UltraTune (dated 2014, also), in which they tried to justify their advertising by basically stating that “there are no sexual acts portrayed in the ads…”. Similarly, the ASB stated that the ads are “only mildly suggestive….” It looks like we’re all fighting this battle on our own, specifically when it comes to advertising, as the ASB not only has private company members on it’s board, who can use the organisation to their advantage, but it is funded by, and wined & dined by, private organisations who can then advertise as they wish. But we do have social media at our disposal, so let’s continue to shout!
  • commented 2016-02-02 08:17:45 +1100
    Have you seen the latest post on ultra tunes FB page by the executive chairman about their up coming sexist ads. He basically said he didn’t care what people think and they are running them any way and to only complain to him if there was a service problem. My mechanic is a franchisee with ultra tune and has been fighting this attitude since last year. While I like my mechanic I cannot support advertising which portrays women as dumb and sexually available objects. One of the models is from maxim and is the partner of the ultra tune executive chairman. So much for caring about offending their clients. I think there might be other biases here. I for one will be walking away from ultra tune now. Just thought you’d like to know.
  • commented 2016-01-17 18:20:34 +1100
    What about Doughnut Time. Have seen many delicious images on my FB feed, and encountered by first shopfront at an airport. Complete with doughnuts printed on the staff t-shirts. 2 in fact. In the chest area. No males seem to work there judging from their imaged on the website. Hmmmmm. Really, 21st Century ? This ???!! All male troupe of bright young things no doubt came up with that pearler. Maybe we get them to wear dildo’s strapped to their heads in their next board meeting.
  • commented 2016-01-16 20:51:19 +1100
    Just made a complaint to ASB re billboard ad on Hoddle St. I hope everyone can get behind this and add their voice, too!
  • commented 2016-01-05 11:46:03 +1100
    I was in Best and Less today and noticed that they stock G-strings in child’s size 8 (so for 8 year olds). To whom do I make a complaint about this?
  • commented 2015-11-06 22:29:46 +1100
    Although I was disturbed by a SexPo ad during the Harry Potter movie last Friday (30/10/15), I was even more disturbed by a SexPo ad on the tram travelling from Vermont South to Melbourne. Particularly as the ad also includes the word Carnival. I’d like to understand how parents are expected to explain this.
  • commented 2015-10-19 12:57:50 +1100
    Hi Carli, do you have a photo that we can see?
  • commented 2015-10-19 12:56:17 +1100
    I was in Big W today and walked past a display of “costume” baby clothes sizes 0000-1. For baby boys they had little rompers that look like a firemans uniform, soft stretchy and perfectly appropriate for a baby. Unfortunately hanging next to these for baby girls, were what I can only describe as mini stripper outfits, lingerie inspired in leopard print with black tulle.
    This is ridiculous, Big W are generally well known for their tasteless tacky girls wear, but this is a new low,
    Congratulations Big W…….
  • commented 2015-09-27 09:51:39 +1000
    I want to lodge a complaint about Honey Birdette stores as they clearly have sex toys on display visible from the shop front . When I raised this with my local westfield I received a response saying that only customers over 18 were allowed entry but my daughter has visited several stores whilst she was 16 and 17 and has never been asked her age. I have a photo clearly depicting the sex toys from the shop window. To whom should I direct such a complaint? Thanks
  • commented 2015-09-14 15:01:56 +1000
    Got lured into watching the PIXEL movie and still can’t believe how degrading to women the whole movie is! It’s rated 13, thus nicely targeted at young adults. Seeing that school holidays are starting in a week’s time in Queensland, it’s a scary thought to have this sort of brain washing happening to any person. Luckily the ratings aren’t very high, so I guess people see it as a flop already. But wouldn’t be surprised if people find a million other reasons why it is flop, rather than remarking on the awful portrayal of women in it!
  • commented 2015-09-02 05:46:11 +1000
    Where’s your article about the Nazi and hate groups in your country?
    You let them hold public parades which actually induced violence.
    Actual people committing actual violence in the present day. Not song lyrics from a 17 year old 6 years ago…

    Does a Nazi have to call one of your staff members a bad name to gain action from your group?

    This groups focus contrived from personally emotions and not actually making a change. Pathetic waste of time IMO
  • commented 2015-08-26 17:20:23 +1000
    Just made a complaint about the new #suckface competition that chupa chubs is holding
  • commented 2015-08-01 21:18:43 +1000
    Regarding previous post. I have found that they were required by the courts to fence it in. I am behind in my information.
  • commented 2015-08-01 21:10:11 +1000
    http://www.kittens.com.au/car-wash.html
    How do we get this business off the street and off a busy public street corner?
  • followed this page 2015-06-16 10:45:48 +1000
  • commented 2015-06-15 19:40:31 +1000
    Tonight I have written to both 7mate and Windsor Smith about their disgusting add for “shoes”. Show early Saturday evening during the family friendly AFL Match. A wonderful example of the sexualisation and degradation of women and society in general. My 12 & 15 year old boys were equally disgusted and encouraged me to act.
  • followed this page 2015-06-11 22:12:43 +1000
  • commented 2015-05-29 13:26:37 +1000
    Target sell a tshirt girlst sizes 4 to 12 with the writing on the front
    “Good girls love Bad Boys”
    What are they thinking?
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