A picture of a religious figure winking is disrespectful – so disrespectful, in fact, that it’s been banned by Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
Jesus – not only winking but giving a thumbs-up sign – appeared on a mobile phone ad just before Easter this year. I’ve looked in vain for a picture, but the various news sites that carry the story – well, the ones I could be bothered to look at, anyway – have avoided using the pic, including the BBC and the Independent.
The BBC says that “the Phones 4U advertisement was ‘disrespectful’ to the Christian faith and must not be used again”. The inference we must all draw is that it’s disrespectful to use a figure that’s revered by millions of people, but if it’s Jesus it’s wrong and if it’s, say, John Lennon or Lady Gaga it’s OK.
Sorry, but I don’t see the difference. Either you’re hurting people’s feelings or you’re not.
Oh, I was forgetting. It’s disrespectful only if the figure concerned is part of a myth.
Anyway, I’d have thought a Jesus winking and giving a thumbs-up would please the Deluded Herd. It seems to be saying Christianity is cool.
But, then, the ASA has been known to be a pusillanimous bunch of twats before, as we saw on this blog nearly a year ago when it cosied up to the Catholic Church and banned an ad showing two male priests about to kiss – on the strength of a handful of complaints.
Why doesn’t it concentrate on ads for stuff that’s harmful, such as most fast foods, mobile phones aimed at kids (think of the radiation) and clothes made in sweatshops – to name but a few dodgy products?
UPDATE: Since I wrote the above my helpful commenter Logicelf (see comments) has kindly sent me a link to a picture (for which thanks) on the Sky website: