UK Jesus thumbs-up ad gets thumbs down

2011-09-07 10:14

London - Britain's advertising watchdog on Wednesday banned a cellphone company commercial which featured a cartoon Jesus who winked and gave a thumbs-up gesture.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that the Phones 4 U campaign, which carried the slogan: "Miraculous deals on Samsung Galaxy Android phones", appeared to be mocking the Christian faith.

"We considered that, although the ads were intended to be light-hearted and humorous, their depiction of Jesus winking and holding a thumbs-up sign, with the text "miraculous" deals during Easter, the Christian Holy Week which celebrated Christ's resurrection, gave the impression that they were mocking and belittling core Christian beliefs," the ASA said.

"We therefore concluded that the ads were disrespectful to the Christian faith and were likely to cause serious offence, particularly to Christians."

The cartoon depiction of Jesus with a Sacred Heart on his chest drew 98 complaints over both the content and the timing of its appearance in the national press on April 21, Maundy Thursday.

Phones 4 U said they "understood and regretted" that offence had been caused, adding they were trying to show "a light-hearted, positive and contemporary image" of Christianity.

  • Johannes - 2011-09-07 10:42

    So after walking on water, turning water into wine, healing the blind, waking up from the dead and being the saviour of the entire human race...Jesus still couldnt grasp a sense of humour.

      Oxygen - 2011-09-07 10:58

      @Johannes - LOL

      Succubus - 2011-09-07 11:27

      I suspect that Jesus had a wonderful sense of humor, and would most probably give that advertisement a thumbs up. How ever, his 21st century followers may wish to lighten up a bit.

      emile.eley - 2011-09-07 11:50

      You know Johan, I don't belittle your beliefs, nor should you mine. To each his own.

      Jip - 2011-09-07 11:59

      @ Johannes: He loves you, you know? You, writing something like this, H e l o v e s y o u. No matter how hard people try to deny Him, and no matter how good they think they feel by doing so(write this down so that you can read it in when the time comes), a time WILL come when ALL the world will see Him, and they will mourn, for the time is to late then. Btw, Johannes, my Brother, I will much rather want to see you one day next to me, praising God for walking on water, turning water into wine, healing the blind, waking up from the dead and being the saviour of the entire human race, instead of bowing your head down in shame, for mocking God's only Son, Jesus Christ. Bless you.

      tanjera - 2011-09-07 12:28

      How did they know it was Jesus in the add?

      sardonicus - 2011-09-07 15:03

      Zombies are not known to be cheerful, happy or humorous. The only miracle Jesus didn't perform was saving his own skin. That shows that Jesus is not god or any relative of god.

      Delusion - 2011-09-07 15:23

      There is NOTHING FUNNY or stange about an almighty invisible deity that impregnated a non-consenting virgin so he could be born as his own son to go forth on a suicide mission to save his creations from himself hundreds of years after he tried to get every living species on earth into a single boat in order to commit genocide all because a naked rib-woman ate a magic fruit after she was convinced to do so by a talking snake.

      zaatheist - 2011-09-07 15:25

      really funny comment @emile.eley All people deserve respect, but not all ideas do. I slso don’t respect the idea that a man was born of a virgin, walked on water and rose from the dead. I don’t respect the idea that we should follow a "Prophet" who at the age of 53 had sex with a nine-year old girl, and ordered the murder of whole villages of Jews because they wouldn’t follow him. Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions.– Thomas Jefferson

      Banana_man - 2011-09-07 15:42

      Don't worry, Jesus gets it. He's laughing his @ss off up there, daily. It's his followers who haven't got a clue. "Jesus Save Me... ...From Your Followers!!!"

  • Illuminus - 2011-09-07 10:47

    Its okay to mock Christianity but it is FORBIDDEN to mock Islam. I am glad to see that both religions are being treated with respect in this case. I don't like the idea of someone using Jesus to sell their products for profit.

      Messenger - 2011-09-07 11:55

      Good to see that this organisation does not apply the usual double standards with regards to Christianity and Islam. That being said, I don't think Phones 4 U made this ad with the intention to outright mock Jesus. I have seen far worse mocking of Jesus on Jewish TV shows.

      sardonicus - 2011-09-07 15:09

      In my books its A Okay to mock all religions and forms of 'GOD', prophets, gurus, ancestors, genies, fairies, zombies, pixies, witches, warlocks, elves, gnomes, imps and the like.

      zaatheist - 2011-09-07 15:27

      I understand some people feel sad when they see a figure they were taught as a child to revere, whether Prophet or Pope, being subjected to rational examination, or mockery, or criminal investigation. But everyone has ideas they hold precious. Only you, the religious, demand to be protected from debate or scrutiny that might discomfort you. The fact you believe an invisible supernatural being approves of, or even commands, your behaviour doesn't mean it deserves more respect, or sensitive handling. It means it deserves less. If you base your behaviour on such a preposterous fantasy, you should expect to be checked by criticism and mockery. You need it.

  • CapeTownJunk - 2011-09-07 10:47

    They make it sound like mocking and belittling core Christian beliefs is a bad thing, as if the concepts of Six Day Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah's Ark, the Virgin Birth and resurrection from the dead are concepts that we should respect and take seriously. If you don't want your beliefs ridiculed, don't believe ridiculous things.

      Illuminus - 2011-09-07 10:52

      'They make it sound like mocking and belittling core Christian beliefs is a bad thing' Stopped reading here. I don't agree with other peoples religions but we are in a society that demands tolerance at the very least. Therefore you should at least respect other peoples beliefs, not based on the content but based on the fact that some people do take their religion seriously and don't appreciate people mocking it.

      CapeTownJunk - 2011-09-07 11:02

      No, Illuminus. I can tolerate people's right to believe whatever nonsense they want, but that doesn't mean that I have to respect that selfsame nonsense. If their beliefs can stand up to rigorous scrutiny, then there's no objection on my part. But when the core beliefs of a religion (e.g. the ones I listed) are based on elements which belong in a fairy tale, and have no scientific credibility whatsoever, then I have no obligation to take those beliefs seriously.

      Wolraad Woltemade - 2011-09-07 11:04

      So what logical beliefs do you belief...? I suppose you have hard-core evidence that Adam and Eve never existed. I suppose the Virgin birth and resurrection (and ascension) you can also disprove as factual. I also suppose your evidence show proof that Noah and the ark never existed. [I suppose the ark they discovered in NAT.Geo is a remnant of the modern titanic, just a bit weathered.] Let’s mock about the titanic. I suppose you will be the first to shout from the top of your lungs, because you don't want your favourite Hollywood movie disrespected. Keep your stupid idiotic opinions to yourself; we don't care about your opinion. It is irrelevant - you haven't given us any (proven) evidence. You can bring your stupid opinion to the judgement seat in a few years, we aren’t interested. Kind Regards

      Han Solo - 2011-09-07 11:17

      Wolraad. It is not CapeTownJunks place to disprove the existence of Noahs Ark and vaerious other biblical events any more than it is to disprove that there is a floating polka dotted teapot floating in space in the next galaxy. It can't be disproved. The burden of proof lies on RELIGION. If you propose the existence of something, you must follow the scientific method in your defense of it's existence. Otherwise, I have no reason to listen to you.

      rantoftheday - 2011-09-07 11:26

      @Wolrdraad The difference between Titanic and the Ark is that one of those really existed. Also, who are you to judge the opinion of others?

      Illuminus - 2011-09-07 11:28

      @Han Solo. Sorry but there is no 'Objective reality' out there. When a doctor for example practices medicine which is based on science and rationality, he does so within a certain frame. That is to say he has a certain way of looking at the body. Science can can never be 100% and even if it is, it is 100% fact based on your man-made criteria. You put far too much faith in science just as some believers put far too much faith in religion. You are, of course, under no obligation to accept any particular claim as true, but if you insist that a claim isn’t reasonable or credible, you should be willing to explain how and why.

      CapeTownJunk - 2011-09-07 11:34

      Wolraad: Modern science uses DNA to trace human ancestry, and tells us that we evolved from earlier apes. No need for a specially created pair of proto-humans. Modern science also tells us that there was no two-of-each-kind species bottleneck as needed for the Noah's Ark story to be true. Finding bits of old boat is not the same as evidence for the existence (never mind the plausibility) of Noah's Ark. I'm sorry that you find facts to be so insulting.

      emile.eley - 2011-09-07 11:52

      And if you don't have anything intelligent to say, stay away from the keyboard you blasphemous sod.

      CapeTownJunk - 2011-09-07 11:58

      @emile.eley: All of reality is blasphemous unless you pretend it isn't.

      Illuminated - 2011-09-07 12:30

      Shame Cape Town Junk is an overweight depressed middle aged man who was touched by his uncle as a child and now blames God for all his troubles. the problem is mans arrogance as if he knows everything in the world.. lol.. well done for falling for the brainwashing you are exposed to everytime you watch nation geographic... why do atheists waste so much energy trying to disprove christianity? and its always christianity.. i never see athiests spend time explaining how muslims, islamists etc are idiots... cause they dont have the balls. you dont like people having morals and trying to live good clean lives? not to say people who arent religious dont have morals and arent good people, but relgion basically teaches you to be a better person, how can that be a bad thing?

      daaivark - 2011-09-07 12:44

      Illuminus, I agree with you on this. However, you yourself fall short here quite often. I have seen you saying some pretty nasty things about Islam on these "pages".

      daaivark - 2011-09-07 12:46

      @emile: To quote you: "To each his own".... so your remark re a blasphemous sod strikes one as a bit off. Follow your own rules, fellow.

      daaivark - 2011-09-07 12:47

      @ Wolraad, Logic and Belief are mutually exclusive. Belief implies accepting something regardless of logic, and logic does not require belief.

      daaivark - 2011-09-07 12:48

      And never the twain shall meet.

      Messenger - 2011-09-07 13:34

      Why do atheists bother themselves so much to investigate the origins of the universe and life? It seems that they try so hard to find a reason to prove that there is no God so that they can relax and not have to worry about being held accountable for their actions. Many atheists find the Bible not credible due to their natural, scientific way of approaching it. If you try to find God only by means of science, you will most probably not find Him. God reveals Himself to people in many other ways. Many Christians believe because God has revealed Himself to them in some way or another, which is unfortunately hard to describe to non-Christians. "The proof of the pudding is in the eating." This applies very much to faith in Jesus Christ.

      CapeTownJunk - 2011-09-07 13:49

      @illuminus: Your ludicrous attempt at insulting me aside, the reason people like me oppose religion is quite simple. It's all fictional, made up, based on lies. I don't like being lied to. I don't want my children to be lied to. I'm not "angry at God". I'm angry at humans who lie on their alleged God's behalf. Religion claims to be the best (if not the only) way to lead a moral life. That's one of the biggest lies religions tell - no religion has a sole franchise over goodness, kindness and virtue. It's quite simple to lead a moral life, and to be a better person. It's called the Golden Rule. Treat others as you'd like them to treat you. No religion necessary. I'm not saying that religious people can't be good people. I'm just saying that they're good people *despite* their religion. And religion, like many diseases which affect humans, is curable. All it takes is a few doses of common sense and critical thinking, and in no time at all, you'll feel better.

      zaatheist - 2011-09-07 15:28

      @Wolraad Woltemade The burden of proof always lies with the party making the positive claim. A positive claim is one where an assertion is made, such as claiming that a god exists as you are attempting to do. If a UFO nut claims that alien spacecraft have visited the earth, and a skeptic says “I don’t think so,” the UFO nut can not demand that the skeptic “prove him wrong.” It just doesn’t work that way.

  • Bellakanoose - 2011-09-07 10:49

    I give Jesus a thumbs up, after I give him a nice cold beer and we talk about whats going on in the World... might be a couples of beers!

      zaatheist - 2011-09-07 15:32

      Jesus never had a girl friend and always hangs around with 12 other blokes. That tells me he is gay, prefers rose wine and never drinks beer.

      Valis - 2011-09-07 21:53

      Jesus was a stoner. He had long hair, he was a rebel, preached peace and love the whole time...he was a stoner :P

  • Fred Basset - 2011-09-07 10:53

    Not very original! The idea is stolen from "Buddy Jesus" in the Jay & Silent Bob movie "Dogma". I say it's about time everyone developed a sense of humour, JC included!

  • cj.venter - 2011-09-07 11:00

    firstly, there was never a man named jesus, they made him up. there was however a man names yshua, so why the fuss? if they can change his name, surely they can give him a thumbs up. speak about dogma...buddy christ anyone?

      Jim - 2011-09-07 14:55

      History defies you.......

      zaatheist - 2011-09-07 15:33

      What history Jim. Please provide your evidence for the existence of this mythical person. I bet you have none. Anyone who believes in any gods does so for no other reason than somebody else telling them to. If their religion has a holy book, they only believe the book to have authority because someone told them it does

  • rantoftheday - 2011-09-07 11:02

    Why does everyone assume that Jesus was a bearded, robe wearing guy with a mullet?

      CapeTownJunk - 2011-09-07 11:04

      Yeah! Even Michael Bolton and Jon Bon Jovi got haircuts eventually!

  • Nick - 2011-09-07 11:05

    With all this additional exposure the campaign has probably been deemed a success by the ad agency. Thumbs Up!

  • African - 2011-09-07 11:58

    A picture of Jesus? How do they know how he looked like? Whoever thinks that dude on pictures is Jesus needs to pray harder.

      tanjera - 2011-09-07 12:30

      Could Jesus have been a black man?

      daaivark - 2011-09-07 12:49

      Is that even vaguely relevant or useful, tanjera?

  • kaMazibuko - 2011-09-07 12:01

    Im glad they dont only take action when people insult Islam. Remember last year, Obama had to ask that priest not to burn the Quran in fear of violence against Americans

  • TerraFic - 2011-09-07 13:07

    Maybe Jesus is trying to teach fellow Christians something... Seeing the add is for the new Galaxy android phone, maybe he's trying to tell Christians that they should look at the possibility that we are not alone in this galaxy and that there is quite possibly life on other planets. Christians do tend to believe that they are Gods gift to the world and that humans are the only form of intelligent species in the universe.

      Zee - 2011-09-07 15:15


      Valis - 2011-09-07 21:56

      Ten "thumbs down" as I write this. Ten people who dislike reality.

  • Liberal-Inde - 2011-09-07 14:35

    Emiley & Illuminus never mind people like the Capetownjunk and their opinions, they only need us to pray for them, they need Jesus in their lives to have peace, but with their attitudes, we can not debate things with them, but God can put everything to perspective for them. So lets pray for them, we know Jesus is the Son of God and Hell is for real. Nobody can change that.

      CapeTownJunk - 2011-09-07 14:58


      CapeTownJunk - 2011-09-07 15:56

      But seriously, Liberal-Inde, you speak as if your prayers have some sort of magical special power. They don't. Grow up.

      Hope-101 - 2011-09-08 08:13

      @ CapeTownJunk: You are so wrong. Twice in my life, I faced death and got out of both situations after some serious praying. Believe whatever you want. I know what I know!!

      CapeTownJunk - 2011-09-08 08:37

      @Hope-101: That's flawed reasoning. If you hadn't got out of either of those situations alive, you wouldn't be here to tell us about them. How many people have prayed for survival, but died anyway? Those people aren't around to tell their tales. The *only* people who can tell us that they believe their prayers helped them survive are those people who *survived anyway*. Good for you (and your loved ones) that you survived two life-threatening situations. But it doesn't seem to have occured to you that you may have survived *regardless* of your prayers?

  • Delusion - 2011-09-07 15:25

    There is NOTHING funny or strange about an almighty invisible deity that impregnated a non-consenting virgin so he could be born as his own son to go forth on a suicide mission to save his creations from himself hundreds of years after he tried to get every living species on earth into a single boat in order to commit genocide all because a naked rib-woman ate a magic fruit after she was convinced to do so by a talking snake.

      Delusion - 2011-09-07 17:59

      Thanks Strut. Jesus loves you too...

      Frank71 - 2011-09-07 18:11

      A very christian response from Strutmode Recordings

  • sibusiso.mpofu1 - 2011-09-07 16:23

    As long as "I" cannot mock Jews (In Israel), and make jokes about the holocaust, the Nazi's and Hitler, oh almost forgot Mandela, then I will not mock anything/anyone else, including Jesus, Mohamed, Rastafari,Dalai Lama, Mugabe, Malema, Zuma, Bush, Blair, and so forth! I will not judge a whole nation's character, or a large community of people, for doing what makes them feel good! (sniff)! Uuu caaatchh my drift? My point is, let's allow each other as human beings to live free of fear of using our own anatomy! Saying funny things about what other people deem devine or supreme is not an insult to a particular individual. The fact that we all not on the same boat on issues, means others will find your ideas, beliefs, culture, traditions, behaviours, ideologies, principles and choices funny, outrageous, inhumane, outdated, backward, stupid and plain unnecessary! Whoooo! Damn! Ran out of rizzla!!

      Valis - 2011-09-07 22:06

      Sibusiso, there is a great big difference between things that *actually* EXIST and things that do NOT exist. Mugabe, Malema, Zuma, Bush, Blair are real people who actually exist; Jesus, Allah, Yahweh, Santa Claus, The Tooth Fairy, Zeus, Odin, Ghosts, Fairies, Magic and the Supernatural, simply DO NOT EXIST! Why is it so hard for people to understand the difference?

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