London, Sep 15 (ANI): An advertisement for an Italian ice-cream brand featuring a heavily pregnant nun has been banned for "making a mockery" of the beliefs of Roman Catholics.
The ad for Antonio Federici, which appeared in The Lady and Grazia magazines earlier this year, showed a woman standing in a church holding a tub of ice cream and a spoon with text stating 'immaculately conceived' and 'ice cream is our religion', reports the Telegraph.
Ten readers complained that the ad was offensive to Christians, particularly to those who practised Catholicism.
Defending the 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 publishers of The Lady also 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 Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that it "regretted the offence that had been caused to their readers", adding that they would not publish the ad or anything similar to it in future.
ASA 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 light-hearted way to advertise ice cream was likely to cause serious offence to readers, particularly those who practised the Roman Catholic faith." (ANI)