Have 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?

In Australia, there are a number of governing authorities you can report to, ensuring your voice is heard and your complaint is received and acted on. All it takes is three simple steps:

  1. Scroll down and select the appropriate authority to report to
  2. Follow the links and let them know what you saw and why it is harmful
  3. Submit your contact details for authentication and in case they want to follow up on your complaint

Thank you for speaking up against advertising that sexualises children or objectifies women - your voice can make a powerful difference!

What's your complaint about?


  • 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 Advertising Standards. Complaints can be lodged online and take 5-10 minutes to complete.

Your complaint can refer to the following codes:


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 shall not employ sexual appeal:

(a) where images of Minors, or people who appear to be Minors, are used; or

(b) in a manner which is exploitative or 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.

2.7 Advertising or Marketing Communications shall be clearly distinguishable as such to the relevant audience. 

Click here to make a complaint to Advertising Standards.

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



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.



Complaints about internet content including online child sexual abuse and other prohibited online content can be submitted directly to the Office of the Children's eSafety Commissioner.

Click here to submit a complaint to the Office of the Children's eSafety Commissioner


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


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.collectiveshout.org/its_scientific_sex_doesnt_sell

6) All businesses are invited to sign the Collective Shout Corporate Social Responsibility Pledge http://www.collectiveshout.org/corporate_social_responsibility_pledge



Add your comment

Showing 25 reactions
Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • Megan Poore
    commented 2018-02-03 21:10:26 +1100
    Hi, Collective Shout,

    Thank you for this super-useful page; off the back of it, I have lodged five complaints in one evening. Both Bras N Things and Honey Birdette are currently displaying soft porn, fetish advertising at Westfield Belconnen in the ACT — advertising that objectifies, diminishes and debases women, and that can be seen by child passersby. I wrote to both companies, to Westfield, and to the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB). Thanks to this page, I was able to refer to the research evidence about the harms and dangers caused by such advertising, as well as the AANA Code of Ethics.

    As others have noted, the ASB website doesn’t allow you to upload photos - instead you have to go through the tedious process of describing the harmful images, posters, whatever. In order to avoid providing a full-on semiotic analysis of what should be obvious, I supplied weblinks to said images: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1fzJELwzH9B43jMQYdWk6wgOkwQ0nzd9C?usp=sharing and ?usp=sharing">https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1n3k9laNQK0QIw2x3w7R6K_1X4nzo8uE-?usp=sharing.

    Thank you to both Collective Shout and from other users for the advice appearing on this page.
  • Bernie Poljak
    followed this page 2017-05-11 14:27:23 +1000
  • Heidi Stevens
    commented 2017-05-10 17:18:43 +1000
    Hi collective shout – I am complaining about the shop front signage (within a shopping centre). I have spoken with the centre management who where very sympathetic and would like to have the frontage changed also but have their hand tied for legal reasons. it is highly sexualised images. Is this considered advertising? Or what avenues do I have to complain. Thank you!
  • Miranda Dixon
    commented 2017-03-14 12:29:37 +1100
    HI, I’d like to lodge a complaint about a shop’s frontage art – is this considered advertising? If not, whom should I complain to – there doesn’t seem to be another category listed above. Can you advise me please? Thankyou!
  • Coralie Alison
    commented 2016-11-23 09:28:13 +1100
    Hi Vicki, you are right that it is much more than just a matter of taste or personal opinion. I personally like to refer to ads that objectify women as ‘harmful’ instead of ‘offensive’ and I always include a link to the research. The Ad Standards Board do still ask the complainant “why do they find the ad offensive” as part of the complaints process. They seem to still defer to opinions over facts and evidence of harms. Hopefully that can change.
  • Vicki Wharton
    commented 2016-11-22 19:11:49 +1100
    You do a great job but wonder if it might be more accurate to say dehumanising/ objectification is dangerous rather than offensive. Offensive is a matter of taste and therefore easily dismissed, whereas dehumanising is a preliminary and recognised part of discriminatory violence, commonly used in the early days of genocide. Think we need to get serious about joining the dots on discriminatory violence towards women.
  • Kirsty Miller
    commented 2016-09-28 21:21:22 +1000
    Bistro Morgan – donut pop up shop was on Sunrise this morning. See his Instagram account @bistromorgan for the segment. Kochi even asked if he could come down to the show on Friday morning. I was appalled by the breaches of 2.1, 2.2 and 2.4. Morgan, the fifteen year old stood in front of his promotional backdrop. One part of the painted mural which was visible throughout the segment was of a women’s voluptuous breasts with large painted donuts in front. A fifteen year old happily promoted his product donut using women’s breasts. Sexualisation of Women 101. Kind regards Kirsty
  • Kirsty Burns
    commented 2016-05-25 15:22:22 +1000
  • Kirsty Burns
    commented 2016-05-25 15:21:04 +1000
  • Kirsty Burns
    commented 2016-05-25 15:19:25 +1000
    go look at their latest job vacancy add!! @ceriteracontentagency
  • @ 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
  • Caroline Bailey
    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?!
  • Trish Cahill
    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!
  • Trish Cahill
    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!
  • Katie Browne
    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?
  • Jennifer Silalahi
    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.
  • Coralie Alison
    commented 2015-10-19 12:57:50 +1100
    Hi Carli, do you have a photo that we can see?
  • Vicki Johnston
    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
  • Sandra Croaker
    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!
  • Toni LaVi
    commented 2015-08-26 17:20:23 +1000
    Just made a complaint about the new #suckface competition that chupa chubs is holding
  • Louise Gavin
    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.
  • Louise Gavin
    commented 2015-08-01 21:10:11 +1000
    How do we get this business off the street and off a busy public street corner?
  • Cherie Stelzer
    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.
  • Shelley Martin
    followed this page 2015-06-11 22:12:43 +1000
  • Jan O'Sullivan
    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?

You can defend their right to childhood

Everyday our young people are exposed to more brands continuing to sexualise girls and objectify women. You can bring change to this sexploitation, stop companies from degrading women and prevent its devastating effects on young people.

Donate Now

From Our Supporters

Join the Discussion