Jeebus H. Crustacean

Prawn Ad Cleared of Offense

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The Big Prawn Company decided a good way to cut through the Christmas clutter would be a funny ad in a food trade magazine. The solution? A Nativity scene in which Baby Jesus was replaced with a shrimp. The accompanying text read, "A King is born."

Even an insensitive oaf such as myself can see the red flags on that one. Results were predictable, with people complaining to the U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority that the ad was offensive, according to Brand Republic. The ASA "cleared the ad because it decided it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence."

I think that's the right decision. But I do find it odd that "offense" in this case (aside from being spelled funny) is judged by how many people might have seen the ad. Not so odd, but entirely predictable, the ASA isn't nearly as moved by a letter-writing campaign as it would be by--just to use hypothetical tactics of the sort never used by religious groups in the U.K.--public protests and bomb threats.

According to Brand Republic, "The ASA noted that The Big Prawn Company had responded by letter to 16 complaints it received and had also printed an apology in the following issue of The Grocer, while The Grocer also responded by letter to 28 complaints it received."