Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Pregnant nuns like ice cream and sex, or something

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Congratulations to the marketing folk at Antonio Federici Ice Cream, who have succeeded in getting themselves free advertising all over the media (including here), by getting this advert banned by the Advertising Standards Agency. Look! They've even bagged themselves a slot on the BBC, which doesn't carry ads.

The ice cream company had big plans for this particular ad, involving placing it on billboards on the route of the Popemobile's drive through London this Saturday, but the ASA stepped in and blocked it, following complaints over its appearance in the magazines Grazia and The Lady:
"We considered the use of a nun pregnant through immaculate conception was likely to be seen as a distortion and mockery of the beliefs of Roman Catholics. We concluded that to use such an image in a lighthearted way to advertise ice cream was likely to cause serious offence to readers, particularly those who practised the Roman Catholic faith."
But that's not going to stop Antonio Federici Ice Cream, who are taking a moral stand against, er, not getting any more publicity, by planning to fill the billboards with a poster representing "a continuation of the theme"

Padraig Reidy at Index on Censorship has, in a very amusing post, already pointed out that the idea of a pregnant nun eating ice cream, apparently as a result of "immaculate conception" or something (it really isn't clear) represents, at best, a misreading of Catholic doctrine, as well as the hilarity of an ice cream company claiming that their advertising represents a satire on the "relevance and hypocrisy of religion and the attitudes of the church to social issues". So, for my own part, I'll just add this – do a Google image search for "Antonio Federici Ice Cream", and you'll see that their entire advertising strategy seems to revolve around the idea that their product makes nuns and priests want to have sex with one another. It's a bizarre notion, but I suppose it must make some people buy the ice cream.

Now, somebody pass me that tub of chocolate chip...

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