NZ advertising authority dismisses complaints against Pope gay marriage ad

New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority rules billboard advert depicting the Pope blessing a male couple did not cause widespread offense

By Anna Leach
New Zealand electricity company Powershop’s advert depicting the Pope blessing a gay wedding

New Zealand’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has dismissed complaints against an advert depicted the Pope blessing a gay marriage.

Powershop-gay-marriage-adThe billboards that were displayed in Auckland and Wellington last month with the slogan ‘Same Power, Different Attitude’ prompted four complaints.

One complainant, B Pender said the advert ‘is offensive to me as a Christian as it features two males exchanging rings as part of a marriage ceremony in the presence of The Pope … it is attempting to imply that The Catholic Church and The Vatican condone same sex marriage despite no formal communication of said claim.’

ASA Chair Jenny Robson said the advert did not cause widespread offense, ‘neither did it breach the due sense of responsibility to consumers and society’, APNZ reports.

The advert was created by electricity company Powershop as part of a series that communicated a message about individual choice and control.

‘Like previous editions, this latest version of Powershop’s long-running campaign is intended to be both thought provoking and satirical,’ said a post on the company’s blog.

‘Kiwis have widely debated the issue of marriage equality over the last year, so we’ve used the issue to point out that large institutions can sometimes lose touch with their modern constituents.

‘We live in a world that has embraced freedom and equality. If something’s working for you and it’s not hurting anyone else, then we support your right to do it. We also believe it’s the responsibility of anybody in a position of power to consider whether their exercise of that power is bringing a greater or lesser happiness to the world.’

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