At least pastafarians know a joke when they see one. Christians just get offended and call for bans. A watchdog agency in the UK got a lot of calls regarding Phone4U’s attempt at humour earlier this year. Apparently miracles are nothing to joke about and kitchy cartoon Jesuses make the real baby Jesus cry.
Phones4U ran a national press campaign featuring a cartoon-like image of Jesus Christ giving a thumbs up and promoting “miraculous” deals on Samsung Android phones at Easter.
The Advertising Standards Authority received 98 complaints that the ads – two versions ran in national press – were offensive and the use of the term “miraculous”, especially during Easter, was disrespectful to the Christian faith.
Phones4U, which is known for its cheeky advertising, said it had aimed to create a “light-hearted, positive and contemporary image of Christianity relevant to the Easter weekend”.
The ASA said the imagery and text of the ads “gave the impression that they were mocking and belittling core Christian beliefs”.
Well, I suppose they didn’t have to put the Jesus picture on there. They could have run the ads with just the words “miraculous deals” but I suspect the thin skinned people who call watchdog groups about this kind of thing still would have called. If it’s verboten to show a cartoon Jesus, it can’t be any better to mock miracles. Never mind that finding a parking space or losing a pound might get called a miracle; you can’t advertise a deal on a phone as a miracle. It’s stepping all over someone’s cherished beliefs!
I suspect more people have seen this ad now that articles are getting written about it. I’m sure the free advertising has helped them add a few more customers, too.