Antonio Federici promises sexy poster blitz for Pope’s London visit

UK-based ice cream company Antonio Federici (damn, they’re not Italians) is threatening to carpet London’s Westminster area with a new poster on Friday, the day Pope Benedict XV1 visits the Anglican Westminster Abbey and then delivers a mass at Catholic Westminster Cathedral.

AF’s last ad, which featured a pregnant nun (ostensibly to demonstrate the ‘immaculate conception’ of its ices) was banned by UK regulator The Advertising Standards Authority as it offended Catholics and wasn’t about ice cream anyway. The ad ran in Grazia and The Lady, which the august organ now admits was a ‘mistake.’

AF also admits it’s trying to show up the hypocrisy of papal attitudes to social issues, like impregnating nuns presumably. The ASA says it’s working with the advertiser to resolve the issue although it admits it can’t ban ads before they appear.

So AF may well have succeeded in gaining its publicity before the men with the brushes and glue hit the road.

Actually Westminster is a difficult place to put up posters of any hue as the council doesn’t like them. So I suspect Antonio Federici’s next step into the creative unknown may remain invisible to His Holiness.

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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.