Mulberry Christmas ad escapes ban despite 42 complaints

Mulberry's festive ad recreating the nativity scene with a handbag playing the role of Jesus has been deemed "unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence" by the ad watchdog.

The Advertising Standards Authority received 42 complaints that the online ad by Adam & Eve/DDB was offensive to Christians.

The film showed a man giving his girlfriend a Mulberry handbag. The pair are then visited by shepherds and wise men wanting to pay respect to the item.

Mulberry said that the video was a "light-hearted reference to the nativity scene" and that comments such as, "guys, it’s just a bag", made in the ad should clarify that no comparison with Jesus was intended.

The ASA also pointed out that the comment was "likely to be interpreted by viewers as referring to the playful and ridiculous nature of the comparison with the nativity story, and was more likely to be seen as a humorous reference to consumerism than ridiculing the story".

The watchdog ruled viewers would see it as a light-hearted take on the nativity story and the intention to poke fun out of consumerism.

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