Jesus in a bunny suit beer ad cleared by ASA
An Banksy-style advert for Marston’s Bank’s Beer that depicted Jesus wearing a bunny suit – four days before Easter – has been cleared by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), despite accusations that it “trivialised” Christianity.
A tweet, sent from Bank’s Beer on 12 April 2017, stated: “Easter is on it’s [sic] way #easter #beer #tellitlikeitis #Wolverhampton”.
The message was accompanied by a graffiti image on a brick wall, in the style of the illusive street artist Banksy, of Jesus sat on a park bench dressed in a bunny suit, with a basket filled with eggs.
Next to the bench was a pint glass that read “Bank’s tells it like it is”.
The controversial advert provoked a complaint to the ASA claiming that the image of Jesus in a rabbit costume “trivialised Christianity”, and challenged whether the ad was offensive.
Responding to the complaint Marston’s, which owns Bank’s Beer, said the image was “intended to highlight the commercialisation of Easter which had prevailed over the traditional meaning of the festival and its message of the resurrection.”
They said that they had intended the tweet to be pro-Christianity and did not seek to trivialise the faith.
Rejecting the complaint, the ASA ruled that while the tweet, posted during Easter, could have been interpreted as distasteful, it concluded that “most people” would not find the portrayal of Jesus to be mocking or derogatory, and it was therefore unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.