An ice cream advert which shows two male priests about to kiss with the line “We believe in salivation” is being investigated by the advertising watchdog.
Complaints about the ad, for Antonio Federici Gelato Italiano desserts, have reportedly remarked that it is distasteful to religious believers.
The ice cream company’s creative director attempted to defend the ad saying it played on current issues of homosexuality in the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England.
The advert is being investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
The ASA agreed last month that a separate ad from the same ice cream company, which showed a nun and a priest about to kiss, was “likely to cause serious offence to some readers”.
Matt O’ Connor, from the ice cream group, said it intended to challenge the ASA over its investigation into the ‘same-sex’ priests ad.
He said the ad: “celebrates homosexuality and refers to recent press where three priests in Rome were allegedly filmed as they visited gay nightspots”.
“It’s also a live issue in the Church of England which may lead to a split in the church”, he commented.
In 2008 a TV commercial for Heinz mayonnaise which featured two men kissing was pulled by the company after it caused nearly 200 complaints.
The advert showed a family scene, but ‘mum’ is played by a man with a New York accent. During the ad he kisses another man who plays the father role.
Viewers said it was ‘offensive’, ‘inappropriate’ and ‘unsuitable to be seen by children’.
In January a billboard advertising campaign which promoted extramarital affairs was scrapped following a Christian campaign against the adverts’ message.
The company behind the adverts, which advertised a website for “extramarital relations”, said at the time they had decided to remove the ads “in light of recent developments”.
Jon Kuhrt, who attends a Baptist church in Streatham, South London, decided to campaign against the adverts using the social networking site Facebook after the ASA rejected his complaint.