The number of complaints about direct mail marketing increased, but at a slower rate than other advertising mediums.
According to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) latest report, the number of complaints about direct mail rose from 1,592 in 2006 to 1,623 last year.
The increase arrested a recent trend where complaints about direct mail advertising had steadily declined. In fact, between 2000 and 2006 the number of complaints fell over 30 per cent, from 2,293 to 1,592 per year.
Despite the rise, direct mail slipped into fifth place in the list of the most controversial advertising mediums.
There were more complaints recorded about ads appearing on TV, online, in the national press and on posters.
In particular, the ASA noted that the number of complaints about online advertising rose significantly.
ASA chairman Lord Chris Smith commented: “These complaints are almost entirely about truth, accuracy, misleadingness and availability – the ‘meat and drink’ of the ASA’s daily work.
“We hope for an early outcome to the detailed discussions under way within the industry on the development of ways to ensure continued responsibility in advertising in new media settings.”