Demi Lovato’s ‘Holy Fvck’ ads banned in UK for being too blasphemous

A recent ad promoting Demi Lovato‘s latest album Holy Fvck is coming under fire in the UK as England’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned it after posters promoting the record began appearing in London.

The posters simply featured the cover art for Lovato’s album, which shows the singer in a bondage-style outfit lying on a white pillowy crucifix-shaped bed, but according to The drumthe ad was banned for being offensive to Christians and inappropriate for children.

Further delving into the rationale for the ban, the regulator said that linking sexuality to the sacred Christian symbol as well as the crucifixion of Jesus Christ would cause “serious offence” to members of the religious group.

“We [ASA] believed that the image of Lovato tied up in a bondage-style outfit while lying on a mattress shaped like a crucifix, in a position with her legs tied to one side, was reminiscent of Christ on the cross,” the ruling said. Additionally, as the album’s title Holy Fvck nods to the notable swear phrase “holy fvck”, the ad was deemed to breach the CAP code for using offensive language in a public place that could be viewed by children.

According to The Drum, Polydor Records, which was behind the campaign in the UK, said they did not believe the poster would cause serious offence, adding that they had “checked” with an advertising agency to make sure it was okay and had was assured that it was.

The posters appeared in six different locations in London and remained up for four days before being taken down.

In response to the ban, NME reports that Humanist UK has challenged the ruling, calling it “a de facto ban on blasphemy.” Humanist’s UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy, Richy Thompson, said in a statement shared by the music magazine, “Regardless of what anyone may think of the language used in Lovato’s ad or its appropriateness for children, religious offense should never be grounds for to ban an advert. It is 15 years since the anti-blasphemy laws in England and Wales were repealed, but since then the ASA has continued to enforce a de facto ban on blasphemy by banning adverts on this ground. This is an unacceptable stifling of the right to freedom of speech.”

The ban didn’t seem to affect Lovato’s album sales too much, then Holy Fvck record hit number 7 in the UK after its release last year.

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