As you may recall, St Matthew-in-the-City Anglican Church in Auckland erected a billboard depicting a baby Jesus in a manger with a rainbow coloured halo, and the words “It’s Christmas. Time for Jesus to come out” on it.
A complaint was lodged with the Advertising Standards Authority.
The Chairman of the Authority has ruled that there are no grounds to proceed with the complaint
It was of the view that the advertisement, which it commented was prepared by
a Christian church to promote debate within the Christian faith, as opposed to a
deliberately offensive advertisement by an outside party for commercial gain, had
been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and to society
and was not in breach of Basic Principle 4 of the Code of Ethics”.
So it appears that advertising that may be offensive to the general public is ok, as long as it was created with a “due sense of social responsibility” by insiders to the issue and targeted at insiders to the issue.