So which is your favourite Christmas ad?
Is it the John Lewis man on the moon nonsense or the Mog commerical by Sainsbury’s?
Or do you turn them off when they come on the TV?
Not in a fit of anti-consumerist rage but rather because you’re offended by the fact that Christmas is, and brace yourself here, a Christian festival.
Cinema advertising firm DCM has decided that an advert featuring the Lord’s Prayer is just too darn controversial to be shown in cinemas this Christmas.
Besides the fact that producers had already jumped through the hoops with regulators about said commercial and got the green light it appears that you and I would be just too offended to sit through the one-minute ad ahead of the latest Star Wars movie.
DCM, which sells ads to some of the biggest cinema chains in the country, said it had “a policy of not accepting ‘political or religious advertising’ content for use in its cinemas.”
The firm do this as not to cause offence to people of different faith, no faith or different political leanings.
This is frankly tosh.
We live in a country which has a history of Christianity and they inform many of the nation’s traditions and history.
To suggest that some people of different faiths may be offended by seeing different people say lines from the Lord’s Prayer is as offensive to Christians as it is to people of other faiths.
I can’t imagine a Jewish person or Muslim throwing their popcorn in the air and marching from screen two just because some people recited a poem.
I know a few limericks that may get people up in arms, but this certainly isn’t one of them.
One of the central tenets of religion is tolerance to others and their beliefs.
The people at DCM believe they have come up with a policy which protects themselves from being caught out on the wrong side of the fence but, in fact, it doesn’t.
All it does do is show them to have little understanding of how modern Britain works.
Millions of Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, Hindus and countless other branches of religion rub along relatively nicely each day.
What they don’t need is some self-appointed PC police in the form of a cinema advertising company.
I should point out at this point that I’m not a church, mosque, synagogue or any other sort of religious building goer.
I once went to a Christian club midweek where they let you play football inside in exchange for having to listen to the Bible at the end.
But it lasted a fortnight and Raiders of the Lost Ark was on telly and it was cold so I missed my weekly dose of the Lord and never returned.
The fact that an advertising firm is proposing to be some moral barometer of Britain just shows you how mixed-up the world is.
Journalists, estate agents and politicians are usually in the lead in polls about just who is the most untrustworthy, but advertisers aren’t far behind.
Have you ever bought a Big Mac? Does it even exist in the same universe as the glossy, tasty looking one on the TV? See?
So we have a ban on an advert that isn’t offensive because some people may find it offensive.
If we go down that road what about a ban on meat products in cinema adverts so as not to possibly offend vegetarians?
A ban on Manchester United players so Man City fans don’t storm out and throw their sharing bag of Revels on the floor?
The best bit of this whole mess if that the ad was due to appear on the front of the new Star Wars movie.
In 2001, almost 400,000 people in the UK told the census their religion was Jedi.
That makes them the third most populous religion in the UK.
So we’re in the strange situation of not being able to see a religious ad because it may in theory offend a tiny minority but we can see a film that 400,000 said summed up their religion.