The Advertising Standards Authority says many of the complainants were cancer patients or knew someone who had suffered from cancer. It will now assess whether the ads were at odds with the advertising code.
The campaign, which ran in print earlier this month, showed pancreatic cancer sufferers saying they wished they had other forms of the disease. The campaign highlighted the low survival rates for pancreatic cancer compared with other more common cancers and included straplines such as “I wish I had breast cancer” and “I wish I had cervical cancer”.
The charity also posted a video on YouTube and promoted the campaign, which was created by ad agency Team Darwin, on social media.
At the time, other cancer charities criticised the campaign, saying that while they understood the intention of the ads, charities should be working together to cure all forms of the disease.
Pancreatic Cancer Action did apologise to anyone upset by the campaign but said it needed to raise awareness of the disease. It launched a follow-up on 10 February focused on the symptoms people should look out for.