Phone Ad With Thumbs-Up Jesus Gets Belated Thumbs-Down

And of course, more coverage than ever

The U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority has belatedly banned a Phones 4U print ad showing a cartoon Jesus winking and giving the thumbs-up sign. Touting "miraculous" deals on Samsung Android phones, the ad ran in April, just before Easter, and the client quickly pulled it following complaints. The official censure five months after the fact resurrects a controversy and raises it to new heights. The ASA's move is getting copious press coverage, much of it showing the ad in question once again, bringing the supposedly offensive image to a global audience and probably offending more folks than the 98 who initially complained. The advertiser's getting more publicity than the placement could ever have generated, and the whole affair will just encourage buzz-crazed companies to fashion more campaigns designed to get banned (maybe even involving Jesus). OMG, way to chase your own tail, ad watchdog! Some savior you turned out to be. Full ad after the jump.