‘Bizarre’ rules bar Catholic bookseller’s Christmas ads from Irish airwaves

.- The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) is facing harsh criticism for rules which have banned a Catholic bookseller from advertising on the radio to attract customers seeking Christmas gifts.

The BCI claimed that mentioning "Christmas" during on-air advertising and reading out the website address could cause offense, the Irish Times reports.

Publisher Veritas, which is owned by the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, said the ban was ridiculous. Spokeswoman Maura Hyland accused the commission of double standards and said the group is considering a lawsuit to overturn the ban.

"We note a myriad of adverts being broadcast for alcohol, for example - which are not creating difficulties for the BCI," Hyland said, according to the Irish Times. "The products we sell will cause no harm or offense, as only those who want them as presents or for personal use will purchase them."

The BCI said its concerns were prompted by three lines from the ad.

"Christmas, aren’t we forgetting something? - Why not give a gift that means more? - So to give a gift that means more," were the phrases of concern.

Irish broadcasting law reportedly bars all ads that have a religious end.

"It is the Commission’s view that the scripts, as proposed may not comply with legislation and regulation regarding advertising directed towards a religious end," the BCI said in a statement, accusing Veritas of turning down its offer to re-write the ad.

Veritas countered the accusation, saying it had submitted three versions of the ad, all of which were rejected.

Solicitors Massan Hayes and Curran, who have advised Veritas, argued that a similar promotion by major stores would have been allowed.

"It is almost certainly the case that an identical advert from those advertisers would not be rejected by the Commission," they said, accusing the BCI of discrimination.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said the ban was hard to understand, asking: "Have we really forgotten what Christmas is all about?"

"I sincerely hope there is room in legislation on broadcasting currently before the Oireachtas that will see an end to bizarre interpretation of rules around religious advertising," the archbishop commented, according to the Irish Times.

John Murray, spokesman for the Catholic think-tank Iona Institute, also voiced criticism.

"No reasonable person could argue that the various Veritas ads banned to date are harmful to the common good," he said, the Irish Times reports.

Last year Veritas was accused of violating BCI rules when it mentioned "crib" in a Christmas ad. In April the Broadcasting Complaints Commission rebuked Veritas when a member of the public distributed an ad for Holy Communion presents.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

3D Church mapping
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family

Liturgical Calendar

July 30, 2014

Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:44-46


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 15: 10, 16-21
Gospel:: Mt 13: 44-46

Saint of the Day

St. Peter Chrysologus »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:44-46


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: