Church leaders denounce blasphemous World Cup ads

Church leaders have denounced the use of images of Rio de Janeiro’s Cristo Redentor statue to promote betting on the World Cup. Last week the ad agency McCann Copenhagen pulled a commercial entitled “Iconic Celebration” created for Ladbrokes after the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro threatened legal action. The ad featured the Cristo Redentor statue that overlooks Rio de Janeiro wearing a red Ladbrokes football shirt over its head as if celebrating a goal. The archbishop has also filed suit against the Italian broadcaster RAI for a similar ad, claiming violation of copyright. The Anglican Archbishop of Adelaide, the Most Rev Jeffrey Driver last week told The Australian newspaper that the use of a 46m high Cristo Redentor balloon with Christ wearing a green and gold Austrian soccer jersey emblazoned with the slogan “Keep the Faith” that floated above the skies of Adelaide was troubling. The use of the image was a question of taste, but “much more offensive is that it’s being used to promote betting and I think that’s deeply worrying because Australia does have a problem with gambling,” Dr. Driver said.

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