A phone advert featuring a cartoon picture of Jesus winking and giving a thumbs-up sign has been banned by a UK advertising watchdog. After meeting for its first prayer, the Advertising Standards Authority decided that taking the mickey out of Christianity was not right for advertising purposes.
The publicity for Phones 4 U, which was used in the national press on 21 April this year, showed Jesus with the Sacred Heart on his chest and the slogan "Miraculous deals on Samsung Galaxy Android phones". The Advertising Standards Authority said it was likely to cause offence and should not be used.
The ASA said: "Their depiction of Jesus during Easter, the Christian Holy Week, gave the impression they were mocking core Christian beliefs." We wonder if they would have applied the same standards to a Skye advert in Italy which shows sports people performing miracles including parting waters, the miracle of the full fishing nets, and floating in the air.
Still it is unusual for an enlightened country to ban an advert on religious grounds. We would have thought the only advantage of doing something like this is that it would mean that some advertising agency staff members would be stoned rather than getting stoned like they usually do.