New Zealand Not Offended By Ad Depicting Pope Marrying Gay Couple, The Vatican However…

powershop-popeNew Zealand’s Advertising Standards Authority has dismissed complaints against an ad depicting Pope Benedict XVI blessing a male couple at the altar, deeming it unlikely to cause widespread offense.

The ad is part of a new campaign by electric company Powershop, featuring the slogan “Same Power, Different Attitude.” Four-and-a-half story billboards went up in Auckland and Wellington, leading to four complaints to the ASA that the ad mocked Catholicism.

One such complaint, by a B. Pender, said the ad “is offensive to me as a Christian as it features two males exchanging rings as part of a marriage ceremony in the presence of The Pope…it is attempting to imply that the Catholic Church and The Vatican condone same sex marriage despite no formal communication of said claim.”

Of course, The Vatican and His Holiness have made resoundingly cleartime and time again — its position on same-sex marriage, but ASA spokesperson Jenny Robson said the ad was referring to the same-sex marriage bill before Parliament as a piece of legislation the Catholic Church opposed.

The bill recently passed its first reading and submissions are being heard by a select committee.

According to Robson, the ad also didn’t garner enough complaints to be said to cause widespread offense.

“It kind of reflects the feedback that we’ve got from the general public,” Powershop chief executive Ari Sargent told The New Zealand Herald. “Yes, there was some vocal opposition but, by in large, people saw it for what it was and didn’t find it particularly offensive.”

Sargent added that the company wanted to stimulate debate and “obviously” didn’t intend to offend anyone.

Powershop has a history of raising eyebrows with its advertising, including billboards featuring Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong-il performing charitable deeds.

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  • 2eo

    They’re far too old for the pope to be interested, they need to be between 3 and 12 for the pope and everyone high up in the church to find them attractive.

  • yaoming

    Cute poster. Not sure I get it, though.

  • sfbeast

    not sure of the appeal. are they trying to say ‘wouldn’t it be nice if…’

  • 2eo

    @sfbeast: It’s an Electricity company using the slogan “Same Power, Different Attitude” and it’s using the image of the hateful paedophile Ratzinger actually using his power to do something moral in the world instead of fucking a child.

  • jwrappaport

    I’m constantly amused by the devout. It is not enough for them that their religions are the source of eternal, infallible, and complete knowledge of literally everything. It is not even enough that their claims are held above basic empirical reality. No, they are apparently only satisfied when their metaphysical claims are also placed off-limits to satire, humor, and open debate.

    This is exactly the kind of clerical bullying we decry in the Middle East, yet the tyrants are apparently already at the gates when a government censorship board even considers restraining an idea for fear that it may cause “widespread offense” to the devoutly religious.

  • 2eo

    @jwrappaport: Indeed, funny how if this was mohammed or some other person who never existed then they’d be defending it as free speech.

    But because the pope is allowed to fuck children and has for decades for some reason he is infallible.

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