ASA ruling against Red Bull – those complaints in full

I really don’t want to get into this, but I absolutely had to share the complaints against the Red Bull “Jesus walks on water ad” (you can watch it here), as submitted to the SA ASA.

It’s comedy gold!

The complainant submitted, in essence, that:

  • The commercial is offensive as it makes a mockery of Jesus Christ by portraying Him in a blasphemous manner. Peripheral arguments to the allegation of offence relate to the fact that the commercial implies that the miracle of Jesus walking on water was all a sham.
  • Christians believe that Jesus Christ is alive and sitting at the right hand of God and as such His express permission should have been obtained before being featured in the commercial (in accordance with certain provisions of the Code).
  • The advertiser should apologise publicly and should be fined as well to indicate the level of offence caused.
  • Creates a bad example for children.
  • Its misleading as it creates an impression that the product existed during the time that Jesus Christ lived.

Yes, the first point initially suggesting that Jesus’ walking on water was not a sham, the second point then actually argues that Red Bull should have got Jesus’ “express permission” before featuring him (“Him” – whatever) in an advertisement.

How would one go about doing that? Presumably via your local church? Or through “Healing” Pastor Chris? Surely a verbal agreement would not be enough – some form of documentation would have to be signed by both parties. How many Christians have got Jesus’ autograph? None? Why on earth not?

And then point five? “…it creates an impression that the product existed during the time that Jesus Christ lived”?

Well, in point two, you just told us he (“He”) is still alive, so what’s with using the past participle? And if he (“He”) is still alive and I can buy a Red Bull (and I can), then the product does exist during the time that Jesus Christ lived… lives… lived… oh… whatever.

Contradiction much?

I do agree with point four though. Stepping out of fishing boats into the Sea of Galilee and expecting to be able to walk on water does set a very bad example for children by suggesting that people can walk on water.

They can’t, that’s all a sham.

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