The most written about ad, according to the survey compiled by Propeller Communications along with Durrants Media Monitoring, was the Land Rover Freelander ad, banned for showing a woman firing a gun. The spot, created by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, drew 348 complaints from people concerned that it glamorised and normalised gun use.
In second place was retailer BHS, following the news that it was launching its first television advertising in more than 10 years, with the £3m "Feel BHS" campaign by HHCL/Red Cell. Coverage centred on the fact that BHS owner Philip Green was spending the money in a bid to take on Marks & Spencer during the Christmas rush, following his failed takeover attempt earlier this year. Green will be allowed another attempt to take over M&S in January.
In third position in the chart was Elle Macpherson's controversial new television campaign for her lingerie range, which showed two women preparing for a knife fight and, later on, a woman cleaning up what appears to be blood.
While the supermodel defended the campaign as being "beautiful, haunting and ambiguous", campaigners against violence objected to the spot.
Martin Loat, director of Propeller Communications, said: "Violence and the fear of violence continue to be sensitive social issues. As an established car advertiser and being mindful of all the rules applying in the automotive category, Land Rover should have expected that the 'starting pistol' treatment would arouse concern.
"If this was a considered attempt to create shock advertising that cuts through in a crowded category then, to some extent, it worked. But clearly many people took issue with the tactics that the advertiser used."
The only other celebrity to appear in the survey this month was Paula Radcliffe, who failed to complete either the marathon or the 10,000-metres race at the Athens Olympics.
The media reported that she had been dropped from a proposed campaign for Quaker Oats that would have used the strapline "Helps you go the distance", although the advertiser claimed that the campaign had been scrapped because the health claim could not be proven and not because of Radcliffe's failures.
Top 10 Ads that Make News for September 2004
1 Land Rover - ad ban after complaints
2 BHS - Philip Green launching £3m ad campaign
3 BT - misleading statistics
4 Elle Macpherson - violence
5 Guinness - Anthony Minguella spot
6 Nik Naks - 'Alien' spoof scaring children
7 Pot Noodle - "office bike" ad
8 Quaker Oats - dropping Paula Radcliffe idea
9 Boddingtons - cream of Manchester moves to Wales
10 London Safety Camera Partnership - for misleading statistics
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