House of Fraser offends Hare Krishna

A House of Fraser advertisement that described followers of the religious group Hare Krishna as "easily-led nutcases" has been criticised by the UK's advertising watchdog.

The Advertising Standards Authority said the retailer's advertisement for a new range of clothes was "offensive" and "ridiculed religious minorities".

Hare Krishna devotees were "ridiculed"

The advert also described Hare Krishna, which is a Hindu religious group, as a "looney [sic] religious sect".

House of Fraser withdrew the advert, which pictured a small procession of Hare Krishna followers, after receiving complaints.

In The Face

The advert attracted attention after it appeared in The Face magazine.

House of Fraser had argued that the magazine is known to be "irreverent" and insisted that readers would see the lighter side of the advert.

"When we came up with the idea, the aim of the campaign was to shock but not to offend," a House of Fraser spokeswoman said.

What the House of Fraser ad said:

If I wasn't a chanting, cymbol-banging [sic], easily-led nutcase, who's been brainwashed by some looney [sic] religious sect, I could be wearing Linea Direction's extra fine Merina sweater and linen jeans

"Unfortunately we had complaints from Hindu and Hare Krishna groups and we have apologised to them, assuring them it will not happen again."

"We accept their viewpoints."

The advertising watchdog welcomed a promise by House of Fraser not to repeat the advertisement.

The magazine The Face was unable to give an immediate comment.