A promotional poster for singer Demi Lovato has been banned in the UK after the Advertising Standards Agency ruled it was likely to cause offence to Christians. The controversial poster was a part of the promotional material for her eighth studio alum ‘Holy Fvck’.
The offending image showed Lovato, 30, wearing a latex bondage-style outfit with her limbs tied up. She was shown lying on a cross-shaped bed with her legs off to one side.
It also featured Lovato’s name and the album title ‘Holy Fvck’ in large letters on the top and bottom of the image. The ASA said that the shape of the bed was reminiscent of Jesus on the crucifix, as well as the advert being easily accessible to children.
The poster image, which was also the image used for the front cover of the album itself, was used as part of a campiagn which saw the image displayed across London in 2022. Lovato’s latest album was released in August 2022.
What did ASA say about Demi Lovato’s poster?
The ASA said that the image along side the ‘Holy Fvck’ slogan alluded to the swear word in the religious context. It added that it found that the image of Lovato “bound up in a bondage-style outfit whilst lying on a mattress shaped like a crucifix, in a position with her legs bound to one side which was reminiscent of Christ on the cross, together with the reference to ‘Holy Fvck’, which in that context was likely to be viewed as linking sexuality to the sacred symbol of the crucifix and the crucifixion, was likely to cause serious offence to Christians”.
The ASA said: “We therefore concluded the ad breached the code. We told Universal Music Operations to ensure their ads did not cause serious or widespread offence in future.”
What was the reaction to Demi Lovato’s banned poster?
According to the ASA, the inital poster caused four complaints to be made to the agency. The ASA have said previously that they may only have to recieve one complaint about an advert or campaign to launch an investigation into the offence in question.
Lovato’s record company Polydor Records defended the poster. A representative said that the record company did not believe that it would cause widespread offence.
They also added that it had made the appropriate checks to make sure that the poster image was safe to run. The posters had been placed at six sites in London, for a total of four days before they were removed.