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Irritating Crazy Frog edges out 'offensive' KFC to be most written about ad

LONDON - An irritating frog with censored genitalia is the highest profile ad for the second month running, according to the latest Ads That Make News survey.

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Jamster's Crazy Frog continues to obsess journalists, with the launch of a game to help keep him in the headlines. Crazy Frog also topped the may poll, which is produced by media industry PR specialist Propeller Communications and Durrants Media Monitoring.

It measures how much editorial exposure national newspapers give to current ads and provides a barometer of Britain's most high-profile ad campaigns.

The UK's most complained about ad, showing call centre staff talking with their mouths full of KFC, was number two on the list, as newspapers reported that despite more than 1,600 complaints from irate viewers, it was not going to be banned or withdrawn. The ad was created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

Never far from the headlines, Jamie Oliver's latest appearance for Sainsbury's was at number three, as the supermarket managed to score some good PR with news that asparagus sales had soared after Oliver flogged it in ads.

The BBC is not a regular presence on Ads That Make News, but a promo it made for its Wimbledon coverage, showing a player slowly shattering like china, made it to number four on the list, after it received 140 complaints. The BBC said it would not show the promo before or after children's programmes in response to the complaints.

Ads for the Atkins diet were at number five after the media reported that the advertiser was told to drop claims in its ads such as "Enjoy a healthier lifestyle" because this cannot be proved. The low-carb regime conflicts with government advice on achieving a balanced diet.

The song "I'd like to teach the world to sing", which featured in the classic 1970's ad for Coca-Cola, was voted the greatest ever song from a TV commercial during June. News coverage of this was enough to give the ad a one-off appearance at number six in our chart.

At number seven was a McDonald's ad showing a Chinese man keeling and begging for an expired discount coupon to be accepted in a store. After complaints, McDonalds withdrew the ad, saying that customers did not need to beg to take advantage of promotions.

Children being frightened by an ad was the reason that Domestos was at number eight. The ads were pulled from daytime TV after complaints from parents that it gave their children nightmares. Twenty-seven viewers complained to the Advertising Standards Authority about the 'scary' monster ad that used a voiceover saying 'millions of germs will die'.

At number nine was Heinz with an ad for salad cream, which upset people in Swindon. It featured a woman saying: "If salad cream's not for salad, are bird baths just for birds? Like.... Shoe racks, just for shoes or could they rack up Swindon's most wanted into an orderly queue of shame?" Furious residents said it implied the town is overrun with criminals and wanted the ad off the air. Heinz has apologised for any offence caused.

An ad showing the "death" of Victoria Beckham has been at the centre of a storm and came in at number ten in June's Ads That Make News. The short viral film 'Kill Posh' appeared on the internet to promote the Golden Palace online casino. It showed a look-alike stealing lingerie and fleeing a store only to be hit by a car.

Martin Loat, director of Propeller Communications, said: "Apart from being one of the most annoying characters to feature in an advertisement for a long time, Jamster and Crazy Frog continues to frustrate the UK's advertising establishment as well.

"Agencies' attempts to create 'famous advertising that people talk about' have been confounded recently as the Crazy Frog has attracted more headlines than their carefully-crafted, high-budget efforts."

Top ten Ads That Make News for June 2005 (based on volume of stories in national newspapers)
1. Jamster - Crazy Frog ringtone and game
2. KFC - Staff talking with mouths full
3. Sainsbury's - Jamie Oliver and asparagus
4. BBC - Wimbledon tennis
5. Atkins diet - healthy claims
6. Coca-Cola - "I'd like to teach the world to sing"
7. McDonalds - Chinese man
8. Domestos - "Germs will die"
9. Heinz salad cream - "If salad cream's not for salad.."
10. Golden Palace on-line casino - "Kill Posh"

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