Pro-Christian ads draw 1,300 complaints from the public

LONDON - A pro-Christian bus side, created in response to the atheist campaign funded by 'The God Delusion' author Richard Dawkins, has become the fourth most complained about ad in the history of the Advertising Standards Authority.

The ad by the Christian Party featured the headline: "There definitely is a god. So join the Christian Party and enjoy your life" and ran last month alongside two other pro-Christian campaigns, which also drew criticism from the public.

Despite attracting 1,045 complaints, around ten times the number received for the atheist ad, the advertising watchdog has declined to investigate The Christian party ads. The ASA said the poster was electioneering and fell outside its remit.

The two other pro-Christian campaigns created in response to the atheist campaign were run by the Trinitarian Bible Society and the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Trinitarian Bible Society's £35,000 campaign bore the headline: "The fool hath said in his heart there is no God". The Russian Orthodox Church also ran a campaign featuring the headline: "There is a God, BELIEVE. Don’t worry and enjoy your life."

According to the ASA, The Trinitarian Society drew 191 complaints while the Russian Orthodox Church drew 53. The ASA said the complaints for all three campaigns were a mirror image of those caused by the atheist campaign.

An ASA spokesman said greater coverage of the Christian Party's campaign, rather than the execution, was responsible for it receiving a bigger response.

The atheist campaign, which was organised by the British Humanist Association, ran last year on 800 bus sides and 1000 tube cards. The ad's headline ran: "There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."

More than 100 complaints were received by the ASA about the campaign. But it declined to investigate as the question of whether God exists is a matter of subjective opinion.

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