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Monday, December 5, 2016
Court bans offensive ad for morning-after pill
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¬†Campaigners have welcomed a court ban on an advert for the morning-after pill which the Advertising Standards Authority has ruled as offensive to Catholics. The ad for the Levonelle brand of 'morning after' pill carrying the phrase: "Immaculate Contraception. If only. Levonelle. The easier way to ask for the morning after pill." The Advertising Standards Authority received 178 complaints from members of the public, an MP, the National Association of Catholic Families and the Catholic Truth Society, objecting to the advertisement which appeared on the London Underground in November 2004. On 2 December 2004, Adrian Thacker, Sales & Marketing Manager of the Catholic Truth Society complained to the Advertising Standards Authority stating that the wording was in contravention of the advertising code of practice, being deliberately offensive to Roman Catholics. This complaint was upheld by the ASA and Shering Health Care Ltd, the manufacturers of the product, withdrew the advertisement. On Wednesday 22 December, Adrian Thacker was interviewed on a number of TV and radio stations to explain why Catholics found the advert offensive. He said: "This advert is a triple whammie for Catholics. It's a deliberate play on the Catholic teaching of the Immaculate Conception, calculated to cause maximum offensive to the Catholic community. Many non-Catholics might not necessarily grasp the significance of this play on words." "Secondly, they're using this pun to advertise a product which Catholics object to on ethical grounds. The so-called 'morning after pill' is not simply a form of contraception. It works by preventing the fertilised egg ≠ for Catholics the beginning of a unique human life ≠ from implanting in the womb." "Thirdly, this advert appeared in the run up to Christmas, and when Catholics are celebrating the feast of the Immaculate Conception. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the formalisation of this teaching by Pope Pius IX. So it's especially insulting." Mr Thacker continued: "There's a lot in the news at present about freedom of speech. This is a value we must cherish and uphold. However, with freedom comes responsibility. The Sikh community in this country has been deeply offended by the play "Dishonour" and understandably so. But at least they had the choice not to buy tickets to see the play. Catholics, who are offended by the Levonelle advert, had no option but to see it every time they caught an underground train. The Catholic Truth Society is an independent Catholic publisher of charitable status. Our mission is to spread the Good News about Jesus Christ through a variety of publications reflecting the teaching, life and witness of the Catholic Church. CTS is also 'Publisher to the Holy See' (the Vatican). Source: CTS
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