Demi Lovato’s ‘Holy Fvck’ Ads Banned in U.K. for Being Too Blasphemous
A recent ad promoting Demi Lovato's latest album Holy Fvck is coming under fire in the U.K., as England's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) had it banned after posters promoting the record starting popping up in London locations.
The posters merely featured the cover art for Lovato's album, which features the singer in a bondage-styled outfit laying upon a white pillowy crucifix-shaped bed, but according to The Drum, the ad was banned for being offensive to Christians and inappropriate for children.
Further delving into the reasoning for the banning, the regulator stated that linking sexuality to the sacred Christian symbol as well as the crucifixion of Jesus Christ would cause "serious offense" to members of the religious group.
“We [ASA] considered that the image of Lovato bound up in a bondage-style outfit while lying on a mattress shaped like a crucifix, in a position with her legs bound to one side, was reminiscent of Christ on the cross,” the ruling said. In addition, since the album's title Holy Fvck nods to the notable swear phrase "holy fuck," the ad was deemed to breach the CAP code for offensive language in a public place that could be viewed by children.
According to The Drum, Polydor Records, who were behind the campaign in the U.K., stated that they did not believe the poster would cause serious offense, adding that they had "checked" with an ad agency to make sure that it was okay and had received assurance that it was.
The posters appeared at six different London locations and remained up for four days before being taken down.
In response to the banning, NME reports that Humanist U.K. have challenged the ruling, calling it "a de facto ban on blasphemy." Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson said in a statement shared by the music mag, “Regardless of what anyone may think of the language used in Lovato’s advert, or its appropriateness for children, religious offence should never be grounds to ban an advert. It’s been 15 years since anti-blasphemy laws in England and Wales were repealed, yet since then the ASA has continued to enforce a de facto ban on blasphemy by banning adverts for this reason. This is an unacceptable stifling of the right to freedom of expression.”
The banning didn't appear to affect Lovato's album sales too much, as the Holy Fvck record hit No. 7 in the U.K. upon its release last year.