The Worst Adverts Of 2010

worst adverts

It’s been a fruitful year for the AdTurds, with much more material that could be covered in the end. The Suggest an AdTurd feature is brimming like one of those huge tanks in the American midwest that’s full of boiling, gaseous pig shit.

Go Compare ran away with this one in 2009 and like Cliff Richard, he’s a very good bet for this year’s gong too, despite stiff competition from, WeBuyAnyCar, BT and Halifax.

There are dark horses too. Who saw the VanCompare advert coming? Or Bing’s heroic attempt to take on Google with some monkey noises? Or the total horror of Jamie and Louise Rednkapp ‘laaaahvin iiii…’?

What has emerged is the likelihood that a genuinely hated ad is likely to find its way back on your box again and again. If people dislike it, they probably remember it; if the remember it, it’s probably on the screens all the time; if it’s on the screens all the time it’s probably disliked. Hence your most hated ad is back on the telly again and again. QED.

That’s unfortunate if you’re driven to twitching fury by such adverts, but it seems increasingly clear that it’s how ad agencies work. Bad adverts are, if you like, a necessary evil. But this is concentrated evil. One drop of that could turn you all into hermit crabs.

Read on! Weep! Vote! Smash yourself in the face with an iron! Watch again! It’s the most annoying, most shit, most terrible adverts of 2010!

Halifax adverts

Effortlessly the worst series of adverts since, well, the last lot of Halifax adverts. While truly appalling, these adverts don’t quite make me fear for the human race. They’re like the Mumford and Sons, Tesco or Microsoft of bad adverts. Always there, always disliked, always shit (or mediocre at any rate).

But there are, to my mind, worse evils in the world. AdTurds readers seem to disagree, so expect this to go straight in at number one in the poll below.

Full disclosure: AdTurds has a bit of a thing for the blonde in the Lucky You advert. – Somebody to Love

After several failed attempt, finally hit upon a character of its own designed to annoy the shit out of people everywhere. Only this isn’t just annoying, it’s also inept. A confused (ahem) message only serves to leave a bemused WTF rattling off the walls.

Imagine’s squiggly drawing thing being rather indelicately spitroasted by Gio Compario and Aleksandr Orlov and you have a pretty good metaphor for how their respective campaigns have panned out.

Marks & Spencer’s Xmas Turd

Hard to believe now, but there was once something vaguely canny about these M&S adverts, before they fell in love with themselves so massively it’s a surprise they don’t simply have the cast frotting themselves on cashmere jumpers and gift packs of bubble bath.

This festive effort with Peter Kay, Twiggy, Danni Minogue and some other people too dreary to mention is so smug that Piers Morgan thinks it’s a bit much.

Thomas Cook Redknapp horror intersection

AdTurds has some inside information on this effort from Thomas Cook that suggests that it was responsible for more complaints than anything else the travel company has ever done.

That may or may not be true, but what is true is that Thomas Cook has a huge effigy of the gruesome Redknapps (who seem to exist purely in advertising these days) in its reception, no doubt now defaced by people driven to violence by Louise and Jamie’s vile, whiny estuary voices.

Bing clutch bags

Tasked with apparent no-win scenario of designing an ad campaign to humble Google, ad agency JWT struck a canny line with the ‘information overload’ line but went on to present it in the most annoying way possible.

I always thought it would have been better to have the information overload people spouting a load of gibberish about hot Asian babes too.

It’s also problematic because the Bing engine isn’t any better in displaying relevant information that Google, Yahoo, Ask or any other search engine in the entire world.

Dell treats Lollipop

On the face of there was nothing too annoying about this advert for Dell’s laptops first off. But the sheer carpet-bombing ubiquity of the first few bars of the Chordettes track – particularly when it invaded Spotify – rendered it simply unbearable; and almost certainly used as a torture device in Guantanamo Bay.

Lollipop Lollipop Oh Lolli Lolli Lolli Lollipop….

Josh T-Mobile

Pity poor Josh. Basically used and abused by a massive multinational in their doomed marketing campaign like a Thai ladyboy by a second-hand car salesman from Romford on his annual sex holiday.

Awful music, crap idea, poor chinless Josh. A powerful mixture of pity and contempt.

Citroen DS3 John Lennon

The Citroen DS3 might have been the most enjoyable car AdTurds thrashed this year, but this ad featuring Lennon pondering the shitness of nostalgia and retro – in an advert that was all about nostalgia and retro for a car that was all about nostalgia and retro – was one of the least enjoyable ads.

Bonus turds for the affected out-of-synch footage too.

VanCompare advert

The post that provoked nothing less than death threats, legal action threats and the infinite wrath of seemingly every Sweet fan on the face of the Earth.

All of that ended in a d├ętente with the actual chairman of VanCompare and a message of good wishes to Andy Scott, believe it or not.

Still, this is possibly the most inept advert ever to grace a television. Sweeeeet!

BT family adverts

Perhaps the most unloved TV couple since Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood, Adam and Jane seemed to reach a climax this year in the ‘is she or isn’t she?’ interactive campaign. Sadly the options didn’t involve death or divorce, but whether Jane was pregnant or not (AdTurds readers suggested their own ending).

In the most stultifying spot of television ever, the answer was revealed as yes and somewhere in Scotland came the noise of John Logie Baird and Alexander Graham Bell softly weeping.

Go Compare adverts

AdTurds can’t really find it in his granite heart to hate Go Compare. Annoying, yes, but no more than any Little & Large sketch from the 1987.

To complain of the rampant repetition; the sheer inescapability of Go Compare ads would be to complain about the ubiquity of grass, water, why the very air itself.

Still, a guaranteed big hitter in this year’s poll – and maybe they’ll finish it off with Gio exploding in gas, fat and hair after one ‘whaffer thin mint’ too many.

Ladbrokes World Cup ads

Two of the most annoying people on television gibbering and gurning like idiots; an appalling campaign; distasteful subject matter; a soundtrack used in at least two different ads over the last couple of years.

Without Wright and Kamara is would be awful. With the charmless pundits it enters a new circle of Hell.

We Buy Any Car advert

Few adverts are genuinely hateful, but We Buy Any Car managed it this year with the advertising equivalent of having Fern Cotton blast an air horn into your face for 60 seconds several times a day.

Pretty much the nearest thing to a sonic weapon – a non-lethal weapon designed to disable victims by provoking vomiting or ‘uncontrolled’ defecation – that you’ll ever see on television.

Iceland 2010 Christmas adverts

It was an oversight of massive proportions that Iceland’s 2010 Christmas adverts, featuring Jason Donovan, were not originally included in this list, but an ad break that featured four or five versions of this ad recently convinced me of the error.

There’s something genuinely unsettling about all of this. The insistence of it, the repetition and noise and the fact that the food all looks so horrible.

This isn’t just an annoying advert. It’s an advert to give you nightmares.

Vote for the worst advert of 2010!

Vote for your most hated ad of 2010 and we’ll go an pelt the ad agency who wins with rotten fruit. And very hard stones.’s latest incoherent shitheap

Here’s’s latest steaming pile of dung, by far its worst yet, featuring an awful scribbly thing singing Queen’s Somebody To Love.

This is clearly’s most recent attempt to come up with a ‘character’ for its adverts that can rival Geo Compario from Go Compare and Aleksandr Orlov from Compare the Market ( makes all its adverts in-house, perhaps explaining why they’re all so unutterably dire).

Previous (s)hits include the baffling Confucius Yoda thing; a load of commoners talking about how incredible their experience of using a particular price-comparison website is; the weirdy two-dimensional set ones with a load of people acting like twats; and the original with Nicky Campbell kicking things off by going AAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Watching desperately trying to locate some kind of brand strategy, thrashing back and forth with a succession of appalling advert, has been vaguely pitiful.

The latest gives some sort of life to the original wavy-haired screaming thing that has appeared on the logo for some time. Now it’s called Cara and just want to find somebody to love. Or something. Or maybe it’a saying that customers have found something to love, in the shape of

To suggest that people love using a price-comparison website is to fundamentally misunderstand why people use things like price-comparison websites, to my mind. I have to go to work every day, shave my face from time to time and occasionally suffer going to the weddings of people I’ve never met. It doesn’t mean I like doing them.

In giving life to Cara Confused, or whatever she’s called, has – perhaps – created one of the most unlovely characters on television. Arguably one of the more disturbing too. The wavy hair makes her look like a crazy cat lady; the maniacal stare makes her look like a killer; the painted smiles on the billions of twitching cartoons remind me of the kool-aid drinking visages of a load of dim, doomed cult members.

Just what the fuck is all of this about? What’s with the song? How does a song about Fredddie Mercury’s love life translate to car insurance? I don’t like Queen, but Somebody To Love is actually rather bittersweet – a defiant rallying cry against the drudgery and loneliness of modern life. To co-opt it for your latest abysmal advert shilling your stupid website is actually pretty obnoxious.

And the ad itself? Cara actually appears to pull a microphone stand out of her minge. What the fuck is up with that? is ’18 million strong’ we’re told at the end. By what standards? In what way? In the sense that that’s how many people have used your service? Somehow I doubt that 0.1 per cent of them would be prepared to say that they ‘loved’ By those standards Anusol is probably 50 million strong.

I find this advert utterly hateful. Far worse than Geo, far worse than Omid Djalili’s ads for and, obviously, a country mile away from the entertaining meerkat adverts. And it’s yet another bizarre change in direction away from the previous efforts.

The only solace I can find is in imagining every single one of the people in the cartoon dead from imbibing some poison straight from Cara’s vagina itself.