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Ice Cream Company Loses Second Racy Religious Ad

LONDON (RNS) Only weeks after being censured for using ad featuring a pregnant nun, a British ice cream maker has been forced to yank a second racy ad that featured two male priests on the verge of a kiss.
The powerful Advertising Standards Authority banned the Antonio Federici firm’s priestly ad on grounds that it went over the top in its portrayal of one holding a spoon and the other a container of ice cream.

Underscoring the advertisement was a text line reading, “We believe in salivation.”

“We considered the portrayal of the two priests in a sexualized manner was likely to be interpreted as mocking the beliefs of Roman Catholics and was therefore likely to cause serious offense to some readers,” the ASA ruling said.

The decision came barely a month after Antonio Federici, which markets a line of Italian-style ice creams in Britain, was ordered by the watchdog agency to pull the ad featuring a pregnant nun.

The text lines in that campaign read: “immaculately conceived” and “ice cream is our religion.”

In its defense, the ice cream maker insisted that “the number of positive views about the (priests) campaign far outweighed the number of complaints,” and said “the ads had a phenomenal response.”

The nun and priests ads ran in several British magazines, but the ASA said it had told Antonio Federici they were not to appear again.