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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 March 2008, 03:34 GMT
Hair prayer ads ruled 'offensive'
ghd IV hair styler advert
Sexual and religious imagery were combined to sell hair styling
A series of TV adverts for hair stylers featuring pictures of women and an extract from the Lord's Prayer has been deemed offensive to Christians.

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

The adverts juxtaposed pictures of women with quasi-religious text.

The Archdeacon of Liverpool, Ricky Panter, was among 23 people who complained about them.

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.

ghd IV hair styler advert
The stylised use of the letter t was considered offensive

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.



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