Members of the public said the ads, which also featured a Sacred Heart across Jesus Christ’s chest and a headline with text “Miraculous deals on Samsung AndroidTM phones”, were offensive and it was disrespectful to the Christian faith to run them during Easter.
The Advertising Standards Association ruling has banned the ads, adding that the images “gave the impression that they were mocking and belittling core Christian values”.
Phones4u says the ads were not intended to be disrespectful of the Christian faith rather but meant to be a “light-hearted, positive and contemporary image of Christianity relevant to the Easter weekend”.
The company, which received some complaints directly, withdrew the ads as soon as the negative reaction became apparent. Phones4u says it has no plans to the run the ads again.