Wednesday, August 12, 1998 Published at 11:19 GMT 12:19 UK
Spotlight on 'offensive' ads
Not upheld: Complaints about Gossard
Adverts that have offended Christians, alluded to drugs, and depicted toy rabbits being run over have been pulled.
The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld complaints against a paper manufacturer which used images of Jesus Christ to help sell its wares.
A total of 124 people objected to the ad., making it the most complained about yet this year.
Spokesman for the Church of England, Steve Jenkins, said: "The use of religious imagery can act as a form of evangelism but when it is used in a mocking sense it is a problem."
Manufacturers of the perfume Fusion, Elida Faberge, also came under fire for linking their product with drugs.
A magazine advert said: "Oi! Where's My Fusion Wrap?", showing a piece of folded paper, similar to that used to hold amphetamine powder.
When unfolded the paper read: "Fusion. The only thing worth sniffing in a club", and contained white powder impregnated with the perfume.
Among the complaints received was one from the government's All-Party Parliamentary Group on Drugs Misuse.
The complaint was upheld.
"It was intended to promote Fusion fragrance but in no way was it intended to condone illegal activity."
A toy fluffy bunny being hit by an Audi car attracted 108 complaints.
A spokesman from the ASA said: "Media-aware people may have made the connection with the Duracell advert.
Another campaign to cause offence featured a statue of the Virgin Mary with young women dressed as nuns wearing the advertisers' jeans.
This prompted nearly 100 complaints of offence to the ASA. These complaints against Lee Jeans were also upheld.
Research carried out by the ASA shows that swearing and rude gestures are more likely to cause offence than using sexy images of men and women.
Almost a fifth of 1,000 people polled could not even bring themselves to look at a list of potentially offensive swear words.
'Won't follow public opinion blindly'
According to Caroline Crawford, of the ASA, said: "More surprisingly perhaps was the 30% who also found damn to be completely unacceptable.
"We conduct this research to gauge how closely in line the ASA's decisions are with public opinion because it alters all the time and we want to make sure that we roughly reflect the prevalent trends.
"But we make our decisions in context and won't just follow public opinion blindly."
Steve Ballinger, a spokesperson for the ASA said : "One of the main culprits for this year was the French Connection campaign FCUK.
"A number of people were offended by this ad and the majority of complaints were upheld."
Nearly three-quarters of people quizzed said they were offended at the way women were portrayed as sex objects.
In 1996 the figure was just 64%.
And the number of people offended by the portrayal of men as sex objects leapt from 41 to 53%.
Ms Crawford said the ASA has noted an apparent return to more traditional attitudes.
She said: "It is clear that people are becoming more concerned about standards, especially with regard to billboards which young children see regularly."
Most complained about ads of 1997