Oh no, here’s another case of oversensitive religious nuts squitting about some harmless advertising. You’d think.
Actually, rather bizarrely, I’m siding with the religious space cadets on this one (but only just).
The fuss is rather amusing: A complaint was made to the ASA about the above ad for Antonio Federici Gelato Italiano ice cream on the grounds that it was demeaning to people who have chosen a religious vocation. I don’t see why this grants anyone special dispensation from mockery when the advertising comedy dustbin is crammed with occupational stereotypes. Why does belief in a desert sky fairy make someone more prone to offence?
Naughty nuns and priests are part of the cultural landscape because, let’s face it, real nuns and real priests are as prone to real-life guilty arse-fuckery as are Welsh sheep farmers. It’s the church that calls its followers a flock, after all, which is possibly the most sinisterly subliminal message in choirboy history.
The Committee of Advertising Practice rules on religious offence state "…linking sex or sexualised images with religion may cause particular offence; for example, despite the tolerance towards the depiction of men and women of the church, portraying nuns in a sexual manner is inappropriate".
I love this quote from Antonio Federici's creative director which earns a mental head-slap:
"Neither the nun or priest are touching or kissing and we don't accept that this beautiful piece of photography could cause offence to anyone except possibly to a tiny minority who might have an acute sensitivity to such matters."
The quote is swiftly busted when you go to the brand’s website. Look at their gallery and find this piece of creative work which I suppose is still waiting to be published in a jizz mag. It’s hardly breaking any taboos as a quick glance at my, er, best friend’s cousin’s neighbour’s private DVD collection will tell you.
What would really be dangerously provocative would be the hint that the jolly priest is wearing a condom.