ASA Adjudication on Barber Brown's
24 Bond Street
30 May 2012
Number of complaints:
A regional press ad for Barber Brown's, a hairdressing salon, seen in the South West edition of the Metro on 21 February 2012 and 8 March 2012, featured an image depicting Jesus, bathed in light. Text stated "He is coming ... Better get your hair done! Barber Browns UNISEX".
Two complainants challenged whether the ad was offensive to Christians. One of the complainants believed the ad implied that Jesus would judge people on their outward appearance and the other believed it was offensive to depict the Second Coming as humorous.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Barber Brown's said that they had been using the ad for well over three years in various formats, including flyers that were available in a local church, and that they had received an overwhelmingly positive response, including being featured in an article in the national press. They said that it was not their intention to cause offence and they felt that their intentions had been misinterpreted. They said that the ad was meant to be humorous and different rather than offensive.
The ASA noted that the ad featured a depiction of Jesus bathed in light and that the text appeared to make reference to the Second Coming. We acknowledged that some people might find the ad distasteful. However, we considered that most consumers would understand that it was a light-hearted take on the biblical story rather than a mockery of Christian belief. Because we considered that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence, we concluded that it had not breached the Code.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 4.1 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.