ASA orders church to withdraw anti-gay ad

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned a regional press advert from the Sandown Free Presbyterian Church in Belfast for using strong biblical references to campaign against homosexuality.

The ad used biblical references such as “Thou shalt not lie down with mankind, as with womankind; it is an abomination” to convey its opinion on homosexuality.

The ASA received seven complaints about the wording of the ad, which have been upheld. The ASA ruled that the text was too strong and was deemed offensive.

It did not consider the church to have breached rules on matter of opinion, but said it should seek advice from the Committee of Advertising Practice before publishing future marketing material.

The ASA has also banned an ad for furniture retailer DFS after viewers complained that the sofas in-store were smaller than those advertised on TV.

DFS admitted it had superimposed actors onto sofas that were not part of the normal range available in-store. The ASA ruled this was misleading and said the ad should not be broadcast again.

The ASA has also launched an investigation into the latest campaign for children’s charity Barnardo’s. It has received more than 400 complaints about a hard-hitting ad focusing on the cycle of child abuse.

The ad, created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, features a girl being hit by her father, mugging someone, taking drugs and getting arrested.

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