Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Advertising Standards Authority Holds That Running Ad With Winking Jesus Cartoon During Easter Week Is Offensive
The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has told a cell phone company that its ad violates standards. The ad reads "Miraculous deals on Samsung Galaxy Android Phones" and features a drawing of a winking Jesus Christ. The ad, for Phones4U, ran last Easter.
More than one hundred complaints poured into the ASA advising the agency that individuals found the ad mocked the Christian faith. In its adjudication, the ASA held,
The ASA noted that Phones 4 U had not intended to cause any offence and we welcomed their explanation that the ads had been withdrawn following the receipt of negative feedback. We noted that the ads featured a cartoon-like graphical illustration of Jesus Christ, the central figure of Christianity, and the Sacred Heart, a sacred symbol central to the Christian faith. We considered that, although the ads were intended to be light-hearted and humorous, their depiction of Jesus winking and holding a thumbs-up sign, with the text "Miraculous" deals during Easter, the Christian Holy Week which celebrated Christ's resurrection, gave the impression that they were mocking and belittling core Christian beliefs. We agreed that the ads were disrespectful to the Christian faith and were likely to cause serious offence, particularly to Christians.
The ads breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 4.1 (Harm and offence).