Retail chiefs and Catholic church officials have launched these rival poster campaigners after shops used a credit card-toting Jesus in a bid to advertise opening on Catholic holidays.
The controversial campaign was created by advertising company VISPRO AG and promotes shopping in the city of Brugg in the Swiss canton of Aargau.
The city’s retail centre wanted to advertise that their shops are now open during Catholic holidays and thought of a unique ways to promote the plan.
The ad shows Jesus in a white tunic with a crown of thorns on his head while brandishing a gold credit card with a big smile.
The text reads: “Shopping paradise Brugg – Brugg retail business nails Catholic holidays.
“Brugg retail business has now opened during Catholic holidays.”
Many devotees were outraged by the advert although some Swiss residents saw the funny side.
Netizen ‘Rawii’ said: “What is the problem? I found the advert amusing and purposeful.”
‘Stefan’ wrote: “I find it very hurtful! I do not know what the ad people were thinking. Perhaps the heatwave has melted their brains.”
In town, 75-year-old reformed pastor Walter Meier showed his disdain by nailing an angry letter to one of the posters and writing “shame on you”.
Meanwhile, the local diocese called it “cheap sensationalism”.
A press spokesman said: “[Picturing] Jesus with a crown of thorns and smirking smugly is a mistake that borders on mockery.”
The diocese even responded with their own campaign which read: “We are here 365 days for you, and not just on Catholic holidays.”
The retail campaign was paid for by the location marketing organisation ‘inBrugg’, according to reports.
Spokesman Mirco Fritschi said: “I want to emphasise that we never wanted to hurt anyone’s feelings.”
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