This ad for Italian gelato maker Antonio Federici, which ran in Britain’s Look magazine, has been banned by U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority. The ASA claims to have received all of six (count ’em six!) complaints about the ad, and ordered the ice cream company not to run the ad again.
“We considered the portrayal of the two priests in a sexualized manner was likely to be interpreted as mocking the beliefs of Roman Catholics and was therefore likely to cause serious offense to some readers,” the ASA said in a statement. Antonio Federici responded by saying the ad did not mock the church but “reflected the grave troubles they considered affected the Catholic Church.”
The gelato maker launched the ad in the latest edition of Look in retaliation to the ASA’s banning of another ad the magazine ran last month (seen below).
I imagine we’ll see an equally offensive ad coming in the next edition of Look as well. The Italians are obviously taunting the Brits and their sill advertising standards, and I assume the ASA will eventually threaten a huge fine to get them to stop. But until then, Antonio Federici will continue to run the controversial ads and enjoy the copious free publicity and likely surge in sales that come with it.