Diary: ASA may take Saatchis to task over holy spirit

Diary doesn't want to be a party-pooper but fears industry watchdogs will be growling when Saatchi & Saatchi's launch ad for Sagatiba makes its debut next month.

The Charlotte Street agency pulled off a PR dazzler last month when it was the subject of a BBC2 documentary that claimed to reveal the inside story of how ads are made, using the Sagatiba spirit brand as an example.

As a depiction of agency life, it was certainly of the airbrushed variety, replete with adoring clients, plenty of Saatchi logos and a total lack of any rows.

But Diary wonders if it will turn out to be a PR triumph after all. The campaign idea pivots on a figure inspired by Christ the Redeemer, the giant statue that looks down over Rio de Janeiro.

A Jesus-like figure in a booze ad seems likely to have every Middle England vicar reaching for his pen. The agency, though, is unperturbed, claiming the statue is a Brazilian icon and that would-be consumers who have seen the ads haven't been offended.

The Advertising Standards Authority may not be so relaxed. Its rules warn against "causing offence on the grounds of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability".

- Got a diary story? E-mail us at campaign@haynet.com or call (020) 8267 4656.

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