BELGIAN BISHOPS DEMAND WITHDRAWAL OF TV AD DEPICTING POT-BELLIED HIPPY JESUS
BRUSSELS Compiled from (AFP) and BBC — Catholic bishops in Belgium have protested a TV ad depicting a pot-bellied, hippy Jesus performing miracles and picking up scantily-clad girls up in a nightclub, a church spokesman said Friday.
The ad shows a long-haired hippy Jesus grooving along as he tries to get into a nightclub and is refused entry by the bouncers. Jesus makes the sign of the cross and sweeps aside the bouncers, shrinking them so they are left in his wake as dwarves. This Plug TV version of Jesus then drinks whisky at the bar and magically turns two brown haired frumpy women into blonde babes wearing bikini tops and red horns. The Jesus character then disappears into a huge limousine with the women but his attention is distracted by an advertisement for Plug TV before he is recalled by God who is standing on a cloud, wearing a T shirt with "Number one dad" written on it.
The God figure tells Jesus off for wanting to watch Plug TV as well as everything else - saying "you still want more".
"We have expressed our disapproval to the president of RTL's administrative council" Jacques Santer and the ethical advertising body, demanding the withdrawal of this publicity campaign, Father Eric de Beukelaer told AFP.
RTL, one of the biggest media groups in Europe, is running the ad on its main Belgian channel to promote Plug youth television, portrayed in the offending item as the coolest thing that even Jesus, with all his powers, could hope for.
Plug TV and RTL-TVI defended the advert, also being shown in cinemas, arguing that it was not blasphemous but contained a message about a "laid-back Jesus addressing youth."