The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) has upheld complaints made over 19 advertisements.

The ASAI released a bulletin today detailing the 19 advertisements that were found to be in breach of their code on grounds relating to misleading advertising, nutrition and food claims, principles, decency and propriety.

The ASAI said it investigated complaints against 26 advertisements and found 19 of them to be in breach of the code.

The advertisements complained of related to email, social media, online, TV and print advertising. One of those upheld related to intra industry/interested party complaints.

The Chief Executive of the ASAI said "consumers may not always be right about their complaints but they have a right to have their complaint heard".

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One programme, Orla Twomey outlined some of the reasons why the ASAI upheld six complaints made against Paddy Power over an advertisement that ran as part of a branded Six Nations campaign in the lead-up to the Ireland-England rugby game in Dublin. 

She said the ASAI considered it to be racist, offensive, anti-English in sentiment, and both highly insensitive and bigoted towards English people. 

Paddy Power said it was mindful of the Code of Standards and that the ads promoted the brand alone.

In relation to an advertisement for Apache pizza, Ms Twomey said it claimed that it was healthy.

The Irish Heart Foundation considered that the advertisement was in breach of the code by encouraging unhealthy eating habits, discouraging good dietary practice and condoning poor nutritional habits in children.

The Irish Heart Foundation objected to the post on the grounds that they believed it was mocking the food pyramid taught to children by suggesting that pizza was healthy because it could contain dairy and vegetables. 

She said: "While toppings can be healthy, a pizza is not healthy per se."

She said the advertisers did not clarify that the meat, vegetables and dairy are the healthy aspects of that particular pizza.

Also upheld was a complaint against a social media post by Rosanna Davison Nutrition.

The complainant deemed the post misleading, as the influencer did not state that it contained an affiliate link - something that can garner a commission.

Rosanna Davison Nutrition said it had not been aware it was necessary to alert followers to affiliate links.

Ms Twomey said consumers must be made aware when something is an advertisement.

She referenced influencers and the necessity for them to make their content clear when it includes an ad, or an affiliated link.

Helena O'Donnell, advocacy campaigns officer of the Irish Heart Foundation, said: "When you see the marketing that is happening online it reflects industry's inability to self-regulate and highlights the ineffectiveness of the current rules on junk food marketing. 

"This irresponsible marketing is happening in the midst of a child obesity crisis where children as young as eight are presenting with high blood pressure and young people showing early signs of heart disease once only seen in middle-aged men."

Ms Twomey encouraged people to make complaints via the ASAI website.