Ice cream firm Antonio Federici vows to defy ban on pregnant nun advert

An ice cream company banned from using an advert showing a pregnant nun has vowed to defy regulators by placing similar posters along the route of the Pope's London visit.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) announced today it had banned the ad for the Antonio Federici brand for "making a mockery" of the beliefs of Roman Catholics.



The advert, which appeared in The Lady and Grazia magazines earlier this year, showed the heavily pregnant nun standing in a church holding a tub of ice cream and a spoon, with text stating "Immaculately conceived" and "Ice cream is our religion".



Ten readers complained that the advert was offensive to Christians, particularly those who practised Catholicism.



A spokeswoman for Antonio Federici said the company intended to defy the ban by publishing another advert portraying "a continuation of the theme".



She said: "We intend to defy the ASA's ban and will publish another advert from the series before the Pope's visit later this week.



"We are in the process of securing a series of billboards close to and along the planned route of the Pope's cavalcade around Westminster Cathedral."



The ASA said its rulings "must be followed".



A spokesman said: "ASA rulings must be followed and we are taking steps to ensure Antonio Federici do so.



"We do not comment on the likely compliance of ads that have not yet appeared. However, we are continuing to conduct work behind the scenes, including with the advertiser, to ensure they comply with the rules."



Defending the banned ad, Antonio Federici said the idea of "conception" represented the development of their ice cream, and their use of religious imagery stemmed from their strong feelings towards their product.



The company said it also wished to "comment on and question, using satire and gentle humour, the relevance and hypocrisy of religion and the attitudes of the church to social issues".



The publishers of The Lady received eight complaints made directly to them and said that, in hindsight, it had been a "misjudgement" on their part to publish the ad.



The magazine told the ASA that it "regretted the offence that had been caused to readers", adding that it would not publish the ad or anything similar to it in future.



Grazia magazine said it considered that the advert was intended to be lighthearted and not mocking of any religious groups.



The ASA noted that advertising rules stated ads "should contain nothing that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence".



It said: "We considered the use of a nun pregnant through immaculate conception was likely to be seen as a distortion and mockery of the beliefs of Roman Catholics.



"We concluded that to use such an image in a lighthearted way to advertise ice cream was likely to cause serious offence to readers, particularly those who practised the Roman Catholic faith."



The number of complaints was relatively small, but the advert had been placed in only a small number of publications.



It ruled that the advert must not appear again in its current form.



The ASA banned another advert for Antonio Federici in July last year that showed a priest and a nun looking as though they were about to kiss.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Howard Marks has been diagnosed with inoperable cancer, he has announced
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
Rowan Atkinson at the wheel of his McLaren F1 GTR sports car
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Sauce Recruitment: Programme Sales Executive - Independent Distributor

£25000 - £28000 per annum + circa 28K + 20% bonus opportunity: Sauce Recruitme...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Are you an ambitious, money mot...

Guru Careers: Investment Writer / Stock Picker

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: A freelance Investment Writer / Stock Picker ...

Guru Careers: PPC Account Executive / Paid Search Executive

£20 - 24K + Benefits: Guru Careers: An enthusiastic PPC Account / Paid Search ...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us