OPINION: Paramount pays price for Christ gag

Bums on pews in Britain’s churches may not be as plentiful as they used to be. But nobody should underestimate the public outrage that can still be generated by advertising that appears to mock the Christian faith.

Bums on pews in Britain’s churches may not be as plentiful as they

used to be. But nobody should underestimate the public outrage that can

still be generated by advertising that appears to mock the Christian

faith.



That’s exactly what the Paramount Comedy Channel has done with its

insensitive substitution of a donkey’s head for Christ’s face in a

parody of the Turin Shroud.



There’s nothing wrong with shock advertising when the reasons and the

timing are right. Indeed, the Church has not been averse to using it -

remember ’bad hair day’? But while the public doesn’t mind being shocked

for honourable motives, it minds very much when the purpose is merely to

promote a comedy series re-run.



For the Comedy Channel to claim it never expected such a reaction is

astonishing.



If it really believes what it says, it is crass. If it is merely using

advertising to attract notoriety, then it is helping deliver the

industry into the hands of those who would legislate to control it.



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