Posters promoting Demi Lovato’s latest album, Holy Fvck, have been banned in the UK over their potential offence to Christians.
The decision was announced by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) on 11 January after an investigation into the material was started shortly after it began appearing in London, Billboard reported.
It came after four people are said to have complained to the watchdog about the poster, which shows the album’s artwork alongside its title.
“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, 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 said in a statement.
The UK’s code for non-broadcast advertising states that ads must be developed with a “sense of responsibility” and must not show anything that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence.
Some complainants suggested Lovato’s posters were “irresponsibly placed” in places children could see them, with others challenging “whether the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.”
The ASA ultimately determined that both the language and imagery used were likely to offend people, resulting in the poster being banned and removed after four days.
Polydor Records, a division of Universal Music group, denied that the content was offensive, according to CNN.
Holy Fvck was released on 19 August and peaked at number seven in both the UK and US.
It was preceded by three singles, one of which, 29, charted on the Billboard Hot 100 at a peak of 96.