Wednesday, 23 September 2009

BHA's complaint against religious ad upheld

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The Advertising Standards Agency has upheld a complaint made by the British Humanist Association against an advert which claimed that a "blessed oil" has the ability to cure life-threatening conditions. The advert, placed on a billboard in Finsbury Park by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, contained a testimony from a mother, Julia Caro, in which she made the following claim for an oil used in a "holy anointing" session due to be hosted by the church:
"My son was born with a heart problem. After a party he started bleeding from the mouth. I rushed him to hospital and the specialist said he had 16 loose arteries. He went into a coma, his heart stopped and both his lungs collapsed. Doctors and specialists expected him to die. At the UKCG I was given some blessed oil to anoint my son with. Now that his heart and lungs are better I thank the UKCG for all the spiritual support I received."
The ASA's ruling, which you can read in full on their website, states that the ad was in breach of advertising codes in areas relating to substantiation and truthfulness, and expresses a concern that it "could discourage people from seeking essential treatment by implying that the oil had a curative effect".


Kevin said...

Nice work.

1minionsopinion said...

I agree. The ad makes it sound like the oil did all the work, so don't bother getting doctors. I'm glad to see a complaint got filed.

Invictus_88 said...

Good thing too, that's bloody ridiculous. I can't think of anyone who'd back that sign; theist, atheist, or agnostic.