There was no suggestion He recommended a bob

31 May

Using religious themes or icons in advertising is a very risky business.

Understandably, people don’t like their deities mocked or abused. All it takes is one complaint from an offended devotee and your ad and the money you put behind it is in the firing line.

In the UK yesterday, the Advertising Standards Authority decided that this ad for Barber Brown’s hair salon (still checking out the possible family connection) was actually OK to carry on selling haircuts and offending some Christians. Story here.

Bristol hair salon's controversial ad with Jesus

There was no immediate comment from the ASA about whether using a reference to Mohammed would have led to the ad being yanked.

It’s a fine line you walk between humour and mock. In this business, external forces determine that line once the thing hits the media.

Would I have written an ad like this for a hair salon? NEVER. It’s borrowed interest, has nothing to do with the salon, isn’t funny and is an obvious attempt to stir up some free publicity.

Now, an ad for a novelty shop is an entirely different matter.

Christmas ad using Jesus by Victoria ad agency

Christmas sale ad by Copeland

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