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Demi Lovato advert banned in the UK for offending Christians

Claire Reid

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Demi Lovato advert banned in the UK for offending Christians

An advert promoting Demi Lovato's album Holy Fvck has been banned in the UK as it could be offensive to Christians.

The poster, which was displayed across London in the summer, featured an image of the US singer wearing a bondage-style outfit while lying on a mattress shaped like a crucifix.

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The advert was to promote album Holy Fvck, and had the title plus Lovato’s name written across it.

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) received four complaints about the poster, claiming it was likely to cause offence and that it had been inappropriately placed where kids could see it.

Defending the poster, Polydor Records, a division of Universal Music, said it did not believe the advert would cause widespread offence.

The record label also confirmed that it had checked the poster was acceptable to run at the six sites it appeared for four days last August.

A poster advertising Demi Lovato's album has been banned in the UK. Credit: Abaca Press / Alamy Stock Photo
A poster advertising Demi Lovato's album has been banned in the UK. Credit: Abaca Press / Alamy Stock Photo

In a ruling, the ASA wrote: “Because we considered the ad was likely to be seen as referring to a swear word that many would find offensive and had appeared in an untargeted medium and public place where children were also likely to see it, we considered that the ad was likely to result in serious and widespread offence and had been targeted irresponsibly."

The ASA also said the image of Lovato ‘​​bound up in a bondage-style outfit whilst lying on a mattress shaped like a crucifix, in a position with her legs bound to one side which was reminiscent of Christ on the cross, together with the reference to Holy Fvck, which in that context was likely to be viewed as linking sexuality to the sacred symbol of the crucifix and the crucifixion, was likely to cause serious offence to Christians’.

It added: “We therefore concluded the ad breached the Code.”

The ASA has ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form, unless it’s been suitably targeted.

The agency added: “We told Universal Music Operations to ensure their ads did not cause serious or widespread offence in future.”

It was ruled the poster could 'result in serious and widespread offence'. Credit: The Photo Access / Alamy Stock Photo
It was ruled the poster could 'result in serious and widespread offence'. Credit: The Photo Access / Alamy Stock Photo

Lovato has previously revealed that the song Heaven from the Holy Fvck album was about exploring her sexual agency while battling her conservative Christian upbringing.

During an interview with the Los Angeles Times, she said: “It’s actually based on a Bible verse.

“Matthew 5:30 says, ‘If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off; [for] it’s better to lose one part of your body than your entire body to hell.’ That was a Bible verse I heard since I was young — too young to know what masturbation was.

"And now, I have my own [line of] sex toys. Masturbation can be a form of self-care, it’s not something to be ashamed of at all.”

Featured Image Credit: dpa picture alliance / REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Music, UK News

Claire Reid
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