TV watchdogs are considering banning a controversial advert for organ donation – which features Jesus on the cross.
In the two-and-a-half-minute ad, Jesus is being asked to join the organ donation register and to take selfies with two Roman soldiers.
The advert comes amid concerns that Australia is lagging behind ‘similar’ countries when it comes to organ and tissue donor registration numbers.
The provocative advert is hoped to increase the number of people who sign up.
Director, Richard Bullock said: “I wanted to deliberately provoke a conversation in homes around the subject.
“I thought it would be amusing and relevant to find that the nicest and kindest man who ever lived – Jesus, wasn’t aware that his organ donor status was no longer on his license.
“Once I started writing I realised that the complexity of the Australian Organ donation could be explained.
“In the end Jesus donating his organs is exactly what I think Jesus WOULD do.”
However, the Australian Ad Standards body have received several complaints.
One person wrote on Facebook: “I am not easily offended but I was deeply offended and saddened by this ad.
“I believe it should be removed and an apology issued.”
Another added: “One day every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. It won’t be such a joke then. Very poor taste.”
However, some viewers were quick to defend the ad, saying that it is drawing attention to a very important cause.
One person said: “Excellent ad, actually. I love the line delivery, editing and way it’s been filmed.
“The fact that it’s going to tick off humourless fundies [a term referring to Christian fundamentalists] while gaining attention for a good cause is the cherry on top.”
Take a look at the advert below.
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling