The Most Complained About TV Shows of 2018

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Celebrity Big Brother was the television programme that Ofcom received the most complaints about in 2018.

Over the year, they received a total of almost 56,000 complaints about programmes from viewers and listeners. Together, the top ten most complained about television shows prompted more than 47,000 complaints, making up 86% of the year’s total.

Channel 5’s Celebrity Big Brother attracted the most complaints in 2018, with 27,602. Most of these were about an allegation of physical abuse made by Roxanne Pallett against Ryan Thomas.

Second on the list was an episode of ITV’s Loose Women. This prompted 7,912 complaints, most of which were about an interview with guest Kim Woodburn.

ITV reality shows Love Island and The X Factor also featured in the top 10 (ranked 4th and 10th respectively), along with storylines on Coronation Street (5th) and Emmerdale (6th) which prompted hundreds of viewers to get in touch with Ofcom. Good Morning Britain (7th), This Morning (8th), Sky News (3rd) and I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here (9th) complete the rankings.

Ofcom launched 137 investigations into TV and radio programmes in 2018. Of those, 129 were concluded this year. They found the broadcasting rules were broken in 80 cases; 33 cases were found to have not broken the rules; and 16 cases were resolved – which means in those cases Ofcom’s concerns were satisfied by the broadcaster.

The top ten in full:
  1. Celebrity Big Brother: 27,602
  2. Loose Women: 8,002
  3. Sky News: 4,251
  4. Love Island: 4,192
  5. Coronation Street: 1,098
  6. Emmerdale: 759
  7. Good Morning Britain: 548
  8. This Morning: 402
  9. I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!: 335
  10. The X Factor: 286


2018 Marketing Trends

As businesses prepare to enter their biggest quarter of the year, we look at how the big trends are faring so far. Where are brands putting their money? And more importantly, where should they be putting it?

Organic Social Media

The general view on organic social media is that it is on its’ way out. However, research by OneChocolate showed that 59% of marketers have increased their investment in this area over the past 12 months. Notably, a big area for investment is hiring talent in the form of skilled strategists and content creators. 

Social vs. traditional media

While social media platforms race to prove to users they can protect their data, there has been a resurgence of trust in newspapers and magazines (MediaCom, 2017). Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter all reported declining user numbers in their half-year results.

Brits’ concern over what’s fact and fiction is heightened. Only 4% of Brits can identify fake news stories correctly.

Podcasts: niche to mainstream

While podcasts have been around for over a decade, 2018 has seen the medium switch from niche to mainstream. 61% of UK adults now regularly listen to at least one podcast, with 21% listening once a week. 68% say that they were more likely to listen to a podcast today than three years ago (Spotify, 2017). 

This increased interest in podcasts is potentially lucrative for brands. 70% of listeners have heard podcast advertising, and a huge 76% of those took action afterwards, such as looking for more brand info online, visiting a brandʼs website or sharing brand information online (Acast, 2018).

Brands and broadcast

UK streaming subscriptions recently overtook pay-TV broadcasters for the first time. Ofcom’s latest report shows Netflix, Amazon Prime and Now TV reached 15.4m subscriptions, whereas pay-TV suppliers such as Sky, BT and Virgin Media logged 15.1m. People are watching less TV – down an average of nine minutes over the past year.

Influencers: is the market saturated?

Influencer marketing has been the hot trend for what feels like forever, but marketers have had to fight to stay ahead of rapidly increasing influencer costs and stricter advertising guidelines.

25% of consumers would consider buying a product endorsed by someone with over 1m followers. Meanwhile, 50% would be “likely” or “very likely” to purchase if promoted by an influencer with a smaller following but considered to be a specialist in that area (Zine, 2018).


Video continues to go from strength to strength as a key marketing tool for brands across all sectors and audiences. Viewers retain 95% of a message when they view a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text format (insivia, 2017). The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video than one without.

Voice search

Voice technologies are making their way from early adopter territory into the mainstream. 58% of consumers have used voice search to find local business information in the last 12 months (BrightLocal, 2018), while one in five EU consumers have shopped using voice or text agents (Mastercard, 2018). 

Google data shows mobile searches for “should I” and “do I need” have each grown more than 65%, while those starting with “can I” have grown by more than 85%.

Download the full report here.

How are people using media in 2018?

Attest’s media consumption report 2018 is a survey of 1,000 people taken in July 2018 to compile a report on the habits of UK consumers. What’s their verdict on some of the biggest platforms?


86.8% of Brits report watching more than one hour of television every day, a rise from 82% in 2017.

When it comes to streamed and on-demand television, use has risen dramatically since 2017.

Women tend to watch more streamed television than men, with 75.7% of female respondents tuning in for at least one hour per day, versus 64.1% of men.

Londoners are more likely to tune into Netflix, Amazon Prime or similar for 1-2 hours every day (47.7%)

The ITV Hub app ranked as the second most downloaded iPhone app of May 2018.

Music Streaming

The most popular paid-for music streaming service is Spotify (35.1%).

However, Apple Music (27%), Youtube (25.3%) and Amazon Music (19.7%) are close behind.

News Media

Younger generations seem to be more interested in newspapers than older generations, with 37.7% of those aged over 40 admitting they do not read a printed newspaper on a regular basis, compared to just 23.2% of under 40s.


Digital Media

Digital advertising grew at its fastest rate for nine years in 2016. But how are consumers using social media?

Source: Attest Media Consumption

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