Antonio Federici Ice Cream

 Ice cream adverts wind up the nutters



19th June
2010
  

Update: Immaculately Conceived...


Nice 'n' Naughty

Pregnant nun ice cream advert has the desired effect

antonio federici advertA controversy-courting Italian ice-cream maker has run an advert featuring a heavily pregnant nun with the strapline immaculately conceived .

40 people have complained to the advertising censors of the ASA saying that it is offensive to Christians because it mocks the birth of Jesus.

The ad, which is featured in magazines The Lady and Grazia, features a pregnant nun enjoying a pot of Antonio Federici ice-cream.

The Advertising Standards Authority has launched an investigation to see if the campaign breaks the advertising code on the grounds of taste and decency.

Matt O'Connor, creative director at the ice-cream company, argued that it is an intelligent, challenging and iconoclastic piece of advertising . O'Connor, who points out that he is an Irish Catholic himself.

 

31st August
2010
  

Update: We Believe in Salivation...


Nice 'n' Naughty

Nutters salivating over easy offence at ice cream advert

federico salivation advertTwo ice cream adverts, one showing a pregnant nun and the other two male priests about to kiss, are facing a ban by the advertising watchdog after offending Roman Catholics.

Complaints have previously been reported about the slogan immaculately conceived appearing on the image of the nun eating from a pot of Antonio Federici Gelato Italiano.

But now the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has indicated the image of the nun is likely to be banned.

Meanwhile, the picture of two men in cassocks and clerical collars, embracing with their lips inches apart, bears the words we believe in salivation . The ASA is now investigating this advert too.

British firm Antonio Federici said the adverts celebrated the implied forbidden Italian temptations of the ice cream. Creative director Matt O'Connor said: Only a tiny proportion of those who have seen the ads have made complaints. They seem to be upholding the views of a bigoted minority over the majority.

But retired Catholic bishop John Jukes decried such adverts, saying: They tend to add to the general downgrading and attack on religious opinions and religiously committed people, which is a danger to the welfare of our culture.'

 

15th September
2010
  

Update: Antonio Federici Crucified...


Nice 'n' Naughty

ASA easily offended at ad for 'immaculately conceived' ice cream

antonio federici advertA magazine ad for Antonio Federici ice cream showed a heavily pregnant woman dressed as a nun standing in a church holding a tub of ice cream in one hand and a spoon in the other. Text stated Immaculately Conceived ... ICE CREAM IS OUR RELIGION .

Ten readers challenged whether the ad was offensive to Christians, particularly to those who practised Catholicism.

Antonio Federici said the idea of conception represented the development of their ice cream. They said their decision to use religious imagery stemmed from their strong feelings towards their product (they cited the text ICE CREAM IS OUR RELIGION ) and also from their wish to comment on and question, using satire and gentle humour, the relevance and hypocrisy of religion and the attitudes of the church to social issues. They believed the small number of complaints the ASA had received represented a very small proportion of the readership of the publications. They did not believe offence had been so deeply felt as to affect their right, as marketers, to free expression and that offence caused to a small minority should not affect the ability of the wider public to see their ad. They believed that, as a form of art and self-expression, advertising should be challenging and often iconoclastic.

The publishers of The Lady magazine had received eight complaints made direct to them. They said that, in hindsight, it had been a misjudgement on their part to publish the ad. They regretted the offence that had been caused to their readers and said they would not publish the ad or anything similar to it in future.

Grazia said they considered the statement ICE CREAM IS OUR RELIGION suggested that the ad was intended to be lighthearted and not mocking of any religious groups. They said the editorial content of Grazia encouraged debate and questioning. As such, they believed the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to their readers.

ASA Assessment: Upheld

The ASA noted that the CAP Code stated that ads should contain nothing that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Particular care should be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability. Compliance with the Code will be judged on the context, medium, audience, product and prevailing standards of decency . We considered the use of a nun pregnant through immaculate conception was likely to be seen as a distortion and mockery of the beliefs of Roman Catholics. We concluded that to use such an image in a light hearted way to advertise ice cream was likely to cause serious offence to readers, particularly those who practised the Roman Catholic faith.

We noted that the number of complaints was relatively small but that the ad had been placed in a small number of publications only.

The ad breached CAP Code clause 5.1 (Decency).

 

17th September
2010
  

Offsite: Antonio Federici Crucified...

ASA easily offended at ad for 'immaculately conceived' ice cream

antonio federici advertA magazine ad for Antonio Federici ice cream showed a heavily pregnant woman dressed as a nun standing in a church holding a tub of ice cream in one hand and a spoon in the other. Text stated Immaculately Conceived ... ICE CREAM IS OUR RELIGION .

Ten readers challenged whether the ad was offensive to Christians, particularly to those who practised Catholicism.

Antonio Federici said the idea of conception represented the development of their ice cream. They said their decision to use religious imagery stemmed from their strong feelings towards their product (they cited the text ICE CREAM IS OUR RELIGION ) and also from their wish to comment on and question, using satire and gentle humour, the relevance and hypocrisy of religion and the attitudes of the church to social issues. They believed the small number of complaints the ASA had received represented a very small proportion of the readership of the publications. They did not believe offence had been so deeply felt as to affect their right, as marketers, to free expression and that offence caused to a small minority should not affect the ability of the wider public to see their ad. They believed that, as a form of art and self-expression, advertising should be challenging and often iconoclastic.

The publishers of The Lady magazine had received eight complaints made direct to them. They said that, in hindsight, it had been a misjudgement on their part to publish the ad. They regretted the offence that had been caused to their readers and said they would not publish the ad or anything similar to it in future.

Grazia said they considered the statement ICE CREAM IS OUR RELIGION suggested that the ad was intended to be lighthearted and not mocking of any religious groups. They said the editorial content of Grazia encouraged debate and questioning. As such, they believed the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to their readers.

ASA Assessment: Upheld

The ASA noted that the CAP Code stated that ads should contain nothing that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Particular care should be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability. Compliance with the Code will be judged on the context, medium, audience, product and prevailing standards of decency . We considered the use of a nun pregnant through immaculate conception was likely to be seen as a distortion and mockery of the beliefs of Roman Catholics. We concluded that to use such an image in a light hearted way to advertise ice cream was likely to cause serious offence to readers, particularly those who practised the Roman Catholic faith.

We noted that the number of complaints was relatively small but that the ad had been placed in a small number of publications only.

The ad breached CAP Code clause 5.1 (Decency).

Comment: ASA should pay penance

16th September 2010. Thanks to Tom who commented:

Please explain what the big deal is here. I am a practicing christian and I personally found the add to be extremely funny. I see no reason that it should be banned after a few nutters got upset.

If we allow a few complaints to derail an advert like this, what next? All I can say is thank God I live in Canada. Things are not perfect here, but at least they make sense.

Comment: Bringing blasphemy back from the dead

17th September 2010. See  article from  spiked-online.com by Tim Black

Spiked logo The big beef we have with the Advertising Standards Authority is: who the fuck are they? Who is this shady cabal of people making moral judgements about our advertising? What authority do they have?

This defiant message comes not from any well-known defender of people's freedom, but from a spokesman for a UK-based ice-cream company, who was talking exclusively to spiked.

...Read the full article

 

27th October
2010
  

Update: Salivating Advert Censors...

ASA take easy offence at another ice cream advert

federico salivation advertA magazine ad, for Antonio Federici ice cream, appeared in Look magazine. It showed two priests in full robes who looked as though they were about to kiss. One of the men also wore rosary beads and held a spoon in his hand; the other held a tub of ice cream. The ad included text that stated We Believe in Salivation .

Six complainants objected that the ad was offensive, because they believed it mocked Catholicism.

Antonio Federici said their advertising did not mock Catholicism but reflected the grave troubles they considered affected the Catholic Church. They gave examples of issues that had been reported in the press, which they believed many people would find more offensive than an ad that celebrated homosexuality.

They said the issue of gay and lesbian bishops and priests was one that currently divided the Church of England and was likely to continue to do so. Antonio Federici said the ad contrasted the actions of the Catholic Church with their belief that if ice cream were a religion, it would be one of universal love, regardless of race, colour, creed or gender.  They said they were Catholics but would continue to produce advertising that challenged the Catholic Church while they believed it remained troubled.

ASA Assessment: Upheld

The ASA noted the CAP Code stated that ads should contain nothing that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Particular care should be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability .

We noted the ad used the text We Believe in Salivation as a theme to refer to the taste of the product and to the image of the priests, who were portrayed in a seductive pose as if they were about to kiss passionately. We considered the portrayal of the two priests in a sexualised manner was likely to be interpreted as mocking the beliefs of Roman Catholics and was therefore likely to cause serious offence to some readers. We concluded that the ad breached the Code.

 

11th December
2010
  

Update: Is ASA Mocking British Free Speech?...

Antonio Federici ice cream makers consider challenging ASA ban on mild religious mockery

federico salivation advert Ice cream company Antonio Federici is challenging ASA's ban on religiously satirical ads

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has demanded that the Antonio Federici ice cream company signs an undertaking not to run the ad again, or any other advertising which may cause serious or widespread offence.

But the family behind the Antonio Federici ad has refused to make that promise and is seeking legal advice.

The ASA has threatened to ban all advertising for the brand if it refuses to comply.

The move comes after the ASA's decision to ban an advert depicting two gay priests enjoying a tub of ice cream, based on just eight complaints.

Antonio Federici described the decision as, openly homophobic and astonishing given the Chairman of the ASA (Lord Chris Smith) was himself the UK's first openly gay MP.

A spokesman for Antonio Federici said: We come from the Father Ted school of advertising where freedom of speech should be a right. We have a long and honourable tradition of satirising politics and religion. What's changed?

In October the National Secular Society called on the communications minister Ed Vaizey to institute an inquiry into the ASA's decision arguing they had reinstated the blasphemy law unilaterally.

Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, said: The advertisements for this ice cream were mildly satirical, featuring priests and nuns apparently enjoying the sensuality of the ice cream – and each other. This is either the result of religious activists flexing their 'blasphemy muscles' or religious believers who aren't very confident in their faith and feel that even the mildest humorous reference must be suppressed. I hope that Federici bring this to court and have this over-the-top censorship overturned.

In October 2010, the ASA wrote in their published assessment of the advert:

The ASA noted the CAP Code stated that ads should contain nothing that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Particular care should be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability .

We noted the ad used the text We Believe in Salivation as a theme to refer to the taste of the product and to the image of the priests, who were portrayed in a seductive pose as if they were about to kiss passionately. We considered the portrayal of the two priests in a sexualised manner was likely to be interpreted as mocking the beliefs of Roman Catholics and was therefore likely to cause serious offence to some readers. We concluded that the ad breached the Code.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 11) clause 5.1 (Decency).

 

14th January
2012
  

Update: High Priests of PC...

Advert censor explains why ASA is so easily offended by minor joviality about religion

SalivationThe Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has dismissed a complaint from the National Secular Society which had accused the ASA of unreasonably restricting freedom of expression by banning advertisements too readily if they risk offending even a few believers.

In a long justification of its enforcement of the Code of Advertising Practice, the wording of which the NSS also attacked, James Best, chairman of the CAP, refused to accept any of the NSS's points about its banning of ads that poke even mild fun at religion.

The complaint arose from the banning of a series of advertisements from the ice cream company Antonio Federici, which, in the ASA's word were offensive, because they believed they mocked Catholicism .

Keith Porteous Wood, Executive Director of the National Secular Society, said:

When the adverts were banned, the NSS said that the ASA was introducing a new sort of blasphemy law through the back door. This response from the ASA gives us no reason to change that opinion. When did it become illegal to satirise Catholicism?

We have become increasingly concerned about an unreasonable deference to religion by the ASA. We were particularly irked by the banning of the ice cream ads, one of which (in the ASA's own words) showed two priests in full robes who looked as though they were about to kiss. One of the men also wore rosary beads and held a spoon in his hand; the other held a tub of ice cream. The ad included text that stated We Believe in Salivation.

The advertisements were ruled by the Authority to have breached the Code of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the number of complainants is often pitifully small, just six in the case of the priests and ice cream ad.

The Code of Advertising Practice includes the ruling that ads:

should contain nothing that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Particular care should be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability.

The NSS complained last year to the ASA, and a high level meeting was arranged between the ASA's chair, Lord Smith of Finsbury (supported by senior executives), and Keith Porteous Wood and NSS senior campaigns officer, Tessa Kendall.

Wood said:

We emphasised the importance of freedom of expression and pointed out that one of their adjudications had recently been overruled by the courts on grounds of freedom of expression. Ironically, the case had been brought by a fundamentalist church, in respect of the banning of its advert criticising Gay Pride parade inBelfast. The ad was headlined 'The word of God against sodomy' and invited those who opposed the parade to meet peacefully.

The NSS is now considering its next step.