An cinema advert featuring a Nativity scene with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus has been banned in the UK for being too religious.
The ad was create to promote the message of Christmas and was set to play in Odeon, Vue and Cineworld chains across the UK.
Digital Cinema Media (DCM), who handles most cinema advertising, said: “As per our policy procedure, the advertisement was referred to the DCM Advertising Policy Committee.
“The committee met at its regular weekly meeting today (22 December) and has declined the advertisement on the grounds that it constitutes religious advertising. DCM has a long-standing policy of not accepting political or religious advertising in the cinemas we represent.”
Francis Goodwin, chair of ChurchAds.net, the charity that commissioned the commercial said: “Our aim is to gently remind people of why and what we celebrate at Christmas; and to do so in a contemporary and creative way. There is nothing offensive or intimidating about the ad, which has BBFC and CAA approval.”
The Rev Arun Arora, the Church of England’s Director of Communications said: “Many families will be looking forward to going to the cinema during the Christmas holidays. It is astonishing that Digital Cinema Media refuses to show a short film focused on the holy family.
“This is not so much no room at the inn but a refusal by the innkeepers to take in any family who are religious.”
As reported in B&T last month, the Digital Cinema Media (DCM) banned an advert backed by the Church of England reciting the Lord’s Prayer. The DCM said it has “a policy not to run advertising connected to personal beliefs, specifically those related to politics or religion.