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Last Updated:  Thursday, 20 March, 2003, 12:53 GMT
Church anger over ice-cream sins
Magnum
"Lust" has a strawberry coating
The release of a new range of ice-creams named after the seven deadly sins has left some European Church leaders veering towards wrath.

The Anglo-Dutch company Unilever launched "lust" and "gluttony", the first two of a limited edition of flavours of its Magnum ice-cream at the beginning of March in several European countries.

But some German Catholic representatives accused the company of using a cheap gimmick to boost sales.

The last thing we wanted to do was cause any embarrassment
David Lewis
Birds Eye Walls
"These sins are serious matters," Manfred Nielen, spokesman for the archbishopric of Hamburg, told Reuters news agency.

"We cannot support something which advocates turning away from God."

'Harmless fun'

A small Dutch protestant Church has also reportedly condemned the new range and called for a boycott of all stores where the "sinful" ice cream is sold.

SEVEN ICED VICES
Lust
Gluttony
Vanity
Avar-ice
Sloth
Wrath
Envy
However, most Dutch Churches have bitten their tongue.

Janwillem Wits, spokesman for the Netherlands Catholic Bishops Conference, said his church had felt no need to step in to the controversy.

Unilever, meanwhile, said that the flavours did not endorse sin but were just harmless fun.

"We carried out wide consultations including with vested group interests and no objections were raised," David Lewis, director of communications for Unilever's UK subsidiary, Birds Eye Walls, told BBC News Online.

"They saw it as the fun that it is - the last thing we wanted to do was cause any embarrassment."

Surprise

"Lust" is a vanilla ice-cream covered with a layer of strawberry chocolate, while "gluttony" replaces the coating with chocolate-covered nuts.

The flavours will be replaced in two months with two more, out of the remaining sins of vanity, greed, sloth, wrath and envy.

The last, seventh, flavour is being billed by the company as a surprise.

Many of the flavours have already appeared over the summer months in Australia and South Africa.

"Vanity" is reported to be the most popular flavour in Australia.


SEE ALSO:
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Lions made to eat ice cream
23 Aug 02 |  England
Artificial mouth tests ice cream
25 Jul 02 |  Education


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