May 26, 2010

God advert tops complaints list

by Benjamin Graham

An advertising campaign claiming “There definitely is a God” prompted more complaints than any other advert in 2009, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has revealed.

The poster advert by the Christian Party was displayed on the side of buses.

Over 1,200 people contacted the ASA to complain that the advert was offensive to atheists and that the claim could not be proven.

However, the ASA did not investigate because political party adverts are outside its remit.

The Christian Party’s advert was a direct response to an advertising campaign by the British Humanist Association (BHA), which asserted, “There probably is no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

BHA chief executive Andrew Copson said he was “quite happy” that the Christian Party had mimicked the BHA’s adverts.

“Our adverts were a light-hearted response to exactly the kind of dogma that says people must be told what to believe and how to live, often accompanied by the threat of punishment in another world,” he said.

“It is with some satisfaction that the public chose to complain about an advert that did not want them to decide for themselves about the existence of god.”

The BHA’s advert received the sixth highest number of complaints.

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