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Pregnant nun ice cream ad banned as 'offensive to Christians'

The advert featured a pregnant nun eating ice cream in a church.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a controversial magazine ad for a brand of ice cream showing a pregnant nun, for being offensive to Christians.

The ad for Italian ice-cream company Antonio Federici ran in The Lady and Grazia magazines earlier this year, featuring the pregnant nun eating ice cream in a church, with the text reading "Immaculately conceived".

It prompted 10 complaints to the ASA, from people who felt it was offensive to Christians - particularly those who practised Catholicism. The UK advertising watchdog ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form.

The Lady magazine subsequently said it regretted the offence caused to readers, while Grazia argued that the advertisement was intended to be lighthearted and not mocking of any religious groups.

The ice-cream maker said the idea of "conception" represented the development of their ice-cream and their use of religious imagery was a commitment to their product. The ad is the latest in the company's "Ice-cream is our religion" campaign.

Last year, the ASA banned another ad for the same company, which featured a young nun and a priest about to kiss.