The story itself is that righteous and pious (pighteous?) indignation rears it's faithhead once again with a complaint upheld by the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) regarding an advert which showed Jesus winking at the gullible devil compliant public.
Such images of Jesus raise concern within the Christian Faith because Jesus would certainly not be winking or putting his thumbs up.
So what did the actual complaint consist of? The official adjudication "issue" states:
"Ninety-eight complainants challenged whether the ads were offensive, because the depiction of Jesus Christ and the Sacred Heart, the use of the term "miraculous" in that context and their publication during the Easter period were disrespectful to the Christian faith."
The adjudication, amongst other things, found that the ad "gave the impression that they were mocking and belittling core Christian beliefs".
1 - 0 to the Christians? No, not really. The ASA simply has a role to play in ensuring adverts offend no-one and boy are busy! One glimpse at their website shows how many disaffected individuals need to complain as soon as their offence radar kicks in with some 30 cases being reported as adjudicated today alone (as of 07/09/11).
Blasphemy Laws in Britain no longer exist so you're pretty safe as an individual to mock religion however you like. Companies however need to show a greater duty of care. And that's all this ruling shows.
So I can post this and get away with it:
However, back in 2007 another complaint was filed against The Big Prawn Company; the complaint read:
"Food Chain Solutions and members of the public thought the image of the nativity scene with a prawn in the place of the baby Jesus was offensive, especially to Christians."
At that time the ASA said:
"While we noted some readers had been offended by the depiction of a prawn in place of the baby Jesus, we considered that the approach would be seen as light-hearted by most readers of The Grocer; it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence."
So, an actual image of Jesus winking and putting his thumb up is a no no but replacing Jesus with a de-shelled decapod crustacean is fine?
I think Phones4U missed a trick there... probably should have piggy backed with Iceland in a brand coalition selling both frozen seafood and the latest touch-screen phones?
A brief search of the ASA website for rulings against Christians though yields some interesting results. Note how in the Phones4U case the word "miraculous" was considered offensive in context. Absolute nonsense of course; the word miraculous is only applicable to people going into Phones4U shops who are not being jumped on by the first tanned and cheap suited salesperson.
Anyway, Miracle Spring Water and Miracle Olive Oil Soap advertised by Reverend Peter Popoff (more on this crooked moron another time) not only saw the ad removed but also the surrender of it's OFCOM licence. That's a BIG deal.
One of the claims was that suitably qualified medical advice on the efficacy of the Miracle Spring Water and the Miracle Olive Oil Soaps slimming effects was sourced. However, when challenged, no such medical advice had ever been sourced at all. This is fraud. No doubt about it.
What about North Shrewsbury Church? They also suffered an embarrassing rebuke in 2008 after being accused of lying in an advert about the qualifications of a doctor and the efficacy of prayer. So, more fraud then.
Another complaint upheld in 2008 considered a set of books being advertised which claimed to heal tumours with the assistance of god. The ad was accused of being "misleading", false "testimonials", lack of "evidence" and the ASA expressed concern for "vulnerable" viewers. Preying on the weak and vulnerable is nothing new for religion.
Miracle cures for cancer come from all dogmas; but this complaint was upheld against a Manchester based faith-head at Mount Zion Industries in 2010. Various sections of the code were abused which all demonstrate that Dr Abraham Daniel-Joel is not a medical doctor, despite inferences to the contrary, and that the ads were completely false and misleading. He's now promoting more of his bullshit in London...
The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God was smacked on the botty in 2009 for false medical claims.
So it seems for every complaint upheld by the ASA against adverts it considered to be amusing and in the spirit of humour against the religious sentiment there are at least 5 complaints upheld (and there are lots more) against religious institutions/individuals where the ASA found blatant fraud.
Not such a victory now eh?