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UK bans singer’s album ‘offensive’ poster

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The United Kingdom Advertising Standards Authority has banned a Demi Lovato album poster which saw the singer pose on a cushioned crucifix while donning a bondage-style outfit for causing offence to Christians.

The poster, seen in multiple sites across London in August, had the headline ‘DEMI LOVATO’ with ‘HOLY FVCK’ — the name of the 30-year-old star’s album — written underneath it,  says in a report.

The poster reportedly attracted four complaints that it was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and was irresponsibly placed where children could see it.

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has now said the advert must not reappear, the report says.

Meanwhile, a division of Universal Music, Polydor Records, said it did not believe the poster would cause serious or widespread offence.

The label told the Advertising Standards Authority that it had checked that the poster was acceptable to run at the proposed sites prior to release, and had been assured that it was,  says.

According to Polydor, the posters only appeared at six specific sites in London for a four-day period and were removed on August 23.

ASA, in its ruling, said, “The CAP Code (UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing) stated that ads must be prepared with a sense of responsibility and must not contain anything that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

“The ASA first assessed whether the language in the ad was likely to cause offence.

“We considered it would be clear to most readers that the ad alluded to the expression ‘holy f***’.

“Because we considered the ad was likely to be seen as referring to a swear word that many would find offensive and had appeared in an untargeted medium and public place where children were also likely to see it, we considered that the ad was likely to result in serious and widespread offence and had been targeted irresponsibly.

“We considered that the image of Ms Lovato bound up in a bondage-style outfit whilst lying on a mattress shaped like a crucifix, in a position with her legs bound to one side which was reminiscent of Christ on the cross, together with the reference to ‘holy fvck’, which in that context was likely to be viewed as linking sexuality to the sacred symbol of the crucifix and the crucifixion, was likely to cause serious offence to Christians.

“The ad must not appear again in the form complained of unless it was suitably targeted.”

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