Friday, September 17, 2010

Dept. of Bad Ideas: Papal Visit Edition

More on the pope's visit to Britain:

We still don't think the newspapers are like Nazis (see below), but we do think that the advertising people are acting like Bart Simpson. Or at least the whiz kids who handle the Antonio Federici ice-cream account.

Their pregnant-nun ad was banned, which bothers us because we support freedom of expression. On the other hand, they make no secret of what they are doing:

The company plans to continue with the same theme and, in addition, make a point of targeting Pope Benedict with the campaign during his four day visit to the UK which begins today.

An Antonio Federici spokeswoman said, "We intend to defy the ASA's ban and will publish another ad from the series before the Pope's visit later this week. We are also in the process of securing billboards close to and along the planned route of the Pope's cavalcade around Westminster Cathedral."

The ad carries the tagline, "Immaculately Conceived ... Ice cream is our religion."

Previous ads from the company have shown two male priests about to kiss and a half dressed male priest about to kiss a nun.

Did you catch that? Targeting the pope. They actually said it.

If Roman Catholics were more like Muslims, there would be rioting in the streets of Poland over this, and an ice cream factory in Argentina would be blown to smithereens. Yummy, yummy smithereens.

We're against violence, of course. We can't even see ourselves rioting over an advertisement. The boycott is a tired strategy that has lost its clout. Our preferred recourse, in response to folly and outrage, is always mockery, but this thing mocks itself. So we have no choice except to shrug our shoulders and declare that the ad campaign is in, ahem, extremely bad taste.

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