An ad for Demi Lovato's newest record struck a nerve with pearl-clutching Christians in the UK.
On Wednesday, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) officially banned a poster promoting the 30-year-old musician's latest album, HOLY FVCK. The poster — six of which were placed around London in August 2022 — features Lovato on top of a large cushion shaped like a crucifix in a wearing a bondage-inspired outfit. However, they were taken down after four days due to several complaints.
Following a subsequent investigation, the ASA issued a report saying that the poster was "likely to cause serious or widespread offence," citing a UK code that requires any ads to be "prepared with a sense of responsibility."
“We considered that the image of Ms Lovato bound up in a bondage-style outfit whilst lying on a mattress shaped like a crucifix, in a position with her legs bound to one side which was reminiscent of Christ on the cross," the advertising regulators wrote. "Together with the reference to ‘holy fvck’, which in that context was likely to be viewed as linking sexuality to the sacred symbol of the crucifix and the crucifixion, was likely to cause serious offence to Christians."
The ASA's ruling comes after Polydor Records said it "did not believe the poster would cause serious or widespread offence."
"The poster primarily included the artwork from Demi Lovato’s newly released LP and was designed to promote the album," the agency relayed in the report, before noting that Polydor said they'd "checked with the agency that the poster was acceptable to run on the proposed sites."
That said, neither Polydor Records nor Lovato have responded to the ASA's ban. In the meantime though, you can check out the poster in question below.
Photo courtesy of John Salangsang / BFA