The Advertising Standards Authority has released the country's most complained about ads of 2017, with ads showing violence among the most complained about.

Last year, the total number of complaints increased by 3 per cent - with 1168 complaints.

TV ads had the most complaints, receiving 37 per cent of complaints, followed by advertiser websites, which had 27 per cent of complaints.

Digital, including social media, had 8 per cent of the complaints and radio had 7 per cent.

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The main complaint, accounting for 55 per cent of the issues, was around advertising being misleading.

V Energy

TV ad, Frucor Suntory - 18 complaints - upheld in part, settled in part

The ad for V Energy drinks showed a construction worker at a building site.

Two small human characters appear and start distracting the worker and jumping into wet concrete.

The worker then drinks a V, picks up a nail gun and starts firing at them.

The ad received 18 complaints from people who said the ad showed unsafe behaviour which could be copied.

Complainants said firing a nail gun and jumping into wet concrete were both unsafe activities to show in the ad.

To settle the first part of the complaint, the advertiser agreed to remove the nail gun scene.

The second part of the complaint relating to the wet concrete was upheld as the advertisement depicted "a dangerous practice with the potential to encourage a disregard for safety", which breached the Advertising Standards Authority's Code of Ethics.

The board agreed with the complainants that the level of fantasy in the ad wasn't sufficient for it to not breach the Code.

Annabelle 2 movie trailer

Village Roadshow Ltd - 7 complaints - settled

The trailer for the Annabelle 2 movie, which played on TV, showed various clips from the movie including scenes of scary dolls as well as children levitating, being dragged away and thrown across the room.

Complainants said the advertisement contained images which were not suitable for the screening times.

TV ad Still from television trailer for the movie Annabelle 2. Photo / supplied
TV ad Still from television trailer for the movie Annabelle 2. Photo / supplied

The Chair confirmed the ad's rating had been changed to an adult only rating and the complaint was settled.

V.I. Poo

Renckitt Benkiser NZ Ltd - 7 complaints - no grounds to proceed

The TV ad for V.I. Poo toilet spray featured a Hollywood star attending a movie premiere.

She faces the camera and says: "To avoid embarrassment, I give every toilet the V.I. Poo treatment. V.I. Poo forms a protective layer trapping the icky smell of your devil's doughnuts."

Complainants said the advertisement was "inappropriate, offensive and disgusting".

However, the Chair said the advertisement used humour to deal with a socially uncomfortable subject, toilet odour.

TV ad Still from television commercial Jade Air wick V.I.Poo. Photo / supplied
TV ad Still from television commercial Jade Air wick V.I.Poo. Photo / supplied

The Chair said although some viewers may find the advertisement unpleasant and distasteful, the level of offensiveness did not reach the threshold required to breach the Code of Ethics.

The Chair ruled there were no grounds for the complaints to proceed.

Spark Father's Day

Spark Ltd - 6 complaints - not upheld

The Spark TV ad showed a young boy in various situations around Father's Day - without his father.

The next morning the young boy takes breakfast to his mum with a card that reads "Happy Father's Day, Mum".

This received six complaints from people concerned the ad discriminated against fathers and perpetuated derogatory stereotypes about absent fathers.

The Complaints Board disagreed and said the ad instead showed a loving relationship between a mother and son.

TV ad Still from the television commercial Father's Day - little is huge campaign 2017 for Spark. Photo / supplied
TV ad Still from the television commercial Father's Day - little is huge campaign 2017 for Spark. Photo / supplied

It said there were positive representations of other fathers and made no suggestion about why the boy's father was not there.

They said it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence and the complaints were not upheld.

ANZ home loans

ANZ Bank - 6 complaints - no grounds to proceed

The ANZ ad screened on TV showed two children crawling into a shed and watching sunlight filter through the roof.

While the children are looking up one says: "How many stars do you think there are?" The other replies: "Heaps".

While they're looking at the roof, one child punches the other on the arm.

TV ad Still from television commercial Stargazers for ANZ mortgages. Photo / supplied
TV ad Still from television commercial Stargazers for ANZ mortgages. Photo / supplied

Complainants were concerned the advertisement condoned violence with one child punching the other.

The Chair disagreed and said the advertisement was promoting a bank and a home loan interest rate and was not targeted at children.

The Chair ruled there were no grounds for the complaints to proceed.