Dancing Pope leaflet offends Poles, is banned

<b>Dancing Pole</b>: Maybe the late Pope didn't drink Fosters?

Dancing Pole: Maybe the late Pope didn't drink Fosters?

Poles and Catholic’s reacted angrily to a nightclub flier which shows the late pope John Paul II with a bottle of Fosters in his hand, dancing with a young lady.

Both the Advertising Standards Authority and the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality got involved after numerous complaints were made.

Sheila Soltysik, secretary of Ipswich Polish Club, said:

It was hugely offensive. The sheer volume of the reaction is what made us take the matter to ISCRE.

It is unfortunate that the thoughtless actions of a marketing idea has created dismay amongst the Polish community and Catholic religion by depicting figures of high moral standards amongst ideas of inappropriate behaviour and surroundings.

Perhaps to some it may have innocent connotations but to the majority of sensible people it is deeply upsetting.

They cannot be allowed to get away with doing things like this, it could have caused real problems, I think we caught it just in time.

Jane Basham, director of ISCRE, said:

The depiction of the deceased Polish Pope particularly was clearly offensive and ISCRE believes that discrimination based on religious grounds is as abhorrent as any other.

I hope this will send a strong and important message across Suffolk that our businesses have an important responsibility to all of Suffolk’s faith and wider communities.

I am disappointed that neither the publicity company nor the club has offered any apology directly to our Polish and Catholic community.

Every cloud…

AND ANOTHER THING: The above post was written in a hurry at the end of yesterday’s office time, and we neglected to mention the fact that it is an almost-perfect MWW story. It has nearly all the elements: the persecution complex, the petulant demand for respect, the conflation of race and religion (congrats to the ASA for not falling for that one), and the veiled threat of violence (“it could have caused real problems, I think we caught it just in time”).

The only thing missing is the “they wouldn’t treat religion X in this way” – but you can be sure that someone would have said that at some point in the affair.

Anyway, as a treat for all the Catholic complainers, we reprint a rare copy of one of the ASA’s most complained about adverts of all time. Yes, it’s John Paul II again:

9 Responses to “Dancing Pope leaflet offends Poles, is banned”

  1. Andrew Nixon says:

    Not sure whether to call April Fools on this one or not…

  2. Stuart H. says:

    I’m quite willing to believe that just because the woman in the picture is dancing with a famous, thankfully now dead, bigot she may not share his views or have taken part in any of his antics. For all I know she may be a pillar of her community.
    But how does Sheila Soltysik know she’s Polish?

  3. barriejohn says:

    I must say that when I first read this one I too thought it was an April Fool`s gag!! However, the story does appear elsewhere on the net, so if it is indeed true one can only ask “What the bloody hell has dissing a dead pope got to do with racial equality?!!”

  4. Richard T says:

    What’s the polish for Foxtrot Oscar?

  5. barriejohn says:

    PS No more jokes about Adolf Hitler then – he was Austrian!!!

  6. Bobbob says:

    So the ASA ruled that this ad could not be shown again because it could cause serious offence.

    I am seriously offended by those signs outside churches telling me that I am going to hell. I am seriously offended by soap operas (they are so patronising). I am seriously offended by pictures of the current pope, or any bishop for that matter. Can I have these banned?

  7. Stonygroud says:

    Luckily it is reaching the point where religiots crying “offence” is becoming like the boy who cried wolf. More and more people are responding to the bleatings of the offended with “so what?”

  8. Ivan says:

    “Perhaps to some it may have innocent connotations but to the majority of sensible people it is deeply upsetting”

    And sensible people believe a little cracker washed down with a glug of plonk turns into the flesh and blood of a man allegedly wandering around the middle east two thousand years ago?

    Of course, I could go on……….

  9. martyn says:

    I couldn’t give a xxxx