Following only a small number of complaints the body decided it was unlikely to cause widespread offence.
The billboard poster campaign is the latest by electric provider Powershop who have in the past used illustrations of dictators Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong-il, seen performing kind acts rather than their famed horrors, to promote their services.
Of the latest, Pope-starring, advert for the company (pictured right) only four complaints were made to the Advertising Standards Authority. Those who did take to making their indignation heard suggested the poster ‘mocked Catholicism’.
ATV’s Showbiz agony aunt Vivian Summers says, “It is amazing in this day and age the Catholics are still complaining about being mocked. They’ve been providing comedians with so much material for centuries you’d think they’d be used to it by now.”
The Catholic’s highest man in a frock has been most unhappy about peace and love for same-sex couples of late he’s used any opportunity given to spout out his homophobic values. Most recently at Christmas.
The commercial was said to have been offensive to religious people due to ‘attempting to imply that the Catholic Church and The Vatican condone same sex marriage’.
A statement from the advertising regulator said that the advert was actually referring to the same-sex marriage bill which is currently progressing through the New Zeland Parliament. A piece of legislation the Catholic Church opposed.
Speaking to The New Zealand Herald newspaper Poweshop executive Ari Sargent said, “Yes, there was some vocal opposition but, by in large, people saw it for what it was and didn’t find it particularly offensive.” Adding the fact only four complained, “ kind of reflects the feedback that we’ve got from the general public.”