Hair prayer ad judged 'offensive'

London, UK - A TV advert for hair stylers featuring eroticised female imagery and an extract from the Lord's Prayer has been deemed offensive to Christians.

The Advertising Standards Authority said the ad for ghd IV hair styling equipment could cause "serious offence" and must not be screened again.

The advert juxtaposed the words 'thy will be done' alongside erotic images of women accompanied by predatory text.

The Archdeacon of Liverpool was among 23 people who complained about the ad.

Same slogan

Bradford-based advertising agency Jemella said it had been using the same slogan for seven years, but the ASA said it had overstepped the mark.

The first advert for the ghd IV hair styling equipment showed a woman wearing lingerie, sitting on the edge of a bed, clasping rosary beads.

As she looks up, the text on the screen reads 'May my new curls make her feel choked with jealousy'.

The text is replaced with the words 'ghd IV thy will be done', then 'ghd. A new religion for hair'.

The letter 't' in 'thy' closely resembles the Christian cross.

In its defence, Jemella argued that biblical phrases were in common usage and had been used in previous advertising.

It acknowledged that a small number of Christians might object to the adverts, but said it did not believe they would cause widespread or serious offence.

The agency also pointed out that it had used the strap line 'a new religion for hair' for several years.

But the ASA found that the eroticised images of women in conjunction with religious symbols, the use of the phrase from the Lord's Prayer and the stylised letter 't' were likely to cause serious offence, particularly to Christians.