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MoneySuperMarket ad judged too sexy by British public

The U.K.'s advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority, has published a list of the most complained-about ads from 2015 with a middle-aged man in hotpants topping the charts.

The most complained-about ad was for consumer comparison website MoneySuperMarket, which featured "Dave", a middle-aged man in high heels and denim shorts dancing through a street to "Don't Cha" by The Pussy Cat Dolls.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 1,513 complaints about the ad. Complainants believed the ad was overtly sexual and offensive because of the man's clothes and dance moves.

Moneysupermarket.com's advert features "Dave" and his "epic strut"
Moneysupermarket.com
Moneysupermarket.com's advert features "Dave" and his "epic strut"

However, the complaints were not upheld by the ASA, which judged that the ad was not offensive and did not breach U.K. advertising codes.

The ASA does not make a decision on an ad solely on the number of complaints it receives; it takes into account factors including audience, medium, context and standards in society, according to the ASA's press release.

"Advertisers must take care not to cause serious or widespread offence, but we don't play a number's game," said Guy Parker, ASA's chief executive, in a press release. "And while matters of offence can grab the headlines, the bulk of our work is the less glamorous task of tackling misleading advertising."

Despite the complaints, MoneySuperMarket were proud of their ad.

"Our ads bring to life that epic feeling you get when you save money at MoneySuperMarket and the great British public's feedback on 'Epic Strut' was overwhelmingly positive," said Piers Newson-Smith, head of brand at MoneySuperMarket, in a statement emailed to CNBC. "It really caught their imaginations."

Other companies listed by the ASA included Booking.com and Paypal. The controversial "Beach Body Ready" campaign by weight-loss company Protein World came fifth in the list with 380 complaints, although the complaints were not upheld by the ASA.

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