London – An ice cream company has been banned from using an ad showing two Christian priests about to kiss just a month after being ordered to pull a campaign featuring a pregnant nun.
Earlier an advert showing a pregnant nun eating ice cream in a church, together with the strap line “immaculately conceived”, was also banned.
The Advertising Standards Authority has ordered it to be discontinued, saying it mocked Roman Catholic beliefs.
The latest Antonio Federici ad, which appeared in Look magazine, showed two priests in full robes eating from a tub of ice cream ‘in a seductive pose’, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said.
Accompanying text read: ‘We Believe in Salivation’.
Defending the ad, the company said it did not mock Catholicism but ‘reflected the grave troubles they considered affected the Catholic Church’.
Upholding six complaints about the ad, the ASA noted the ad used the text ‘We Believe in Salivation’ in reference to the taste of the product and to the image of the priests.
The ASA said: ‘We considered the portrayal of the two priests in a sexualised manner was likely to be interpreted as mocking the beliefs of Roman Catholics and was therefore likely to cause serious offence to some readers.’
It ruled that the ad must not appear again and told Antonio Federici to ensure future ads were not likely to cause serious or widespread offence.
Earlier, the ASA banned another of the company’s adverts showing a heavily pregnant nun standing in a church holding a tub of ice cream and a spoon, with text stating ‘Immaculately conceived’ and ‘Ice cream is our religion’.
The ASA said the ad, which appeared in The Lady and Grazia magazines, was ‘making a mockery’ of the beliefs of Roman Catholics.
To use such an image in a lighthearted way to advertise ice cream was likely to cause serious offence to readers, particularly those who practised the Roman Catholic faith
Defending the banned nun advert, Antonio Federici said the idea of “conception” represented the development of their ice cream.
It added that the use of religious imagery represented its strong feeling towards its product.
The firm said it also wished to “comment on and question, using satire and gentle humour, the relevance and hypocrisy of religion and the attitudes of the church to social issues”.
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