Nuns on the run! Saucy ice cream ads to be banned as the pope visits Britain

Italian ice cream firm Antonio Federici has had a lot of fun with the age-old theme of naughty nuns and priests, running ads with a pregnant nun, ‘immaculate conception,’ and two friendly priests, ‘we believe in salivation.’

Now, according to the Mail on Sunday, these ads are about to be banned by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority because lots of catholics have complained.

Now the ASA may or may not be planning to do so. Another view might be that the MoS may just be making this up on a quiet news weekend.

But let’s enter into the spirit of things: maybe this is a conspiracy by Opus Dei or some other Dan Brown-like catholic body to remove anti-catholic material just as pope Benedict XV1 prepares to visit Britain to canonise cardinal John Henry Newman, who was probably gay (although you won’t hear this from the catholic church) and wouldn’t have wanted to be a saint anyway.

Or they could be making it up. No doubt the ASA will tell us.

Antonio Federici’s ‘creative director’ Matt O’Connor rages that such an interdiction will have a disastrous effect on his company.

AF has so far only run the ads in women’s mag Grazia and, for some reason, The Lady, essential reading for gentlewomen’s nannies.

I suspect Matt is foxing. He’s rather pleased with all the publicity.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.