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06 August 2014

Press release

Statement on Advertising Standards Authority ruling on offensive advertisement

Statement on Advertising Standards Authority ruling on offensive advertisement

City AM newspaper, Tue 10 June 2014

The Evangelical Alliance's complaint about an offensive advertisement by the gambling organisation Sporting Index, which was published by City AM newspaper, has been upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The ruling published today on the ASA website found that the 10 June advertisement, in which the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil was digitally altered, breached three sections of their code. The image of the statue was graphically altered and shown to be holding a bottle of booze in the right hand with the left arm around a bikini-clad model over the caption: "There's a more exciting side to Brazil".

Following the ASA ruling, Dr Dave Landrum, director of advocacy of the Alliance, said:

"We are grateful that the Advertising Standards Authority has upheld the Alliance's view on behalf of Christians everywhere.

"This advertisement was in poor taste and clearly likely to cause offence. Even so, the expressions of incredulity from City AM and Sporting Index at the complaints illustrate a patent failure to grasp why such mockery and disfigurement of the person of Christ should be deemed offensive at all.

"Such religious illiteracy and lack of respect for faith communities in the UK is concerning.

"Despite some assumptions that society would become ever more secular, it is now clear that this is not happening and that faith will play an increasingly important role in British society.

"We hope the ASA decision will encourage businesses to think twice before seeking to exploit religious images and sentiments for financial gain."

Media Enquiries

Danny Webster
Tel: 07766 444 650
Email: d.webster@eauk.org

Notes to Editors

The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to  www.eauk.org.