The Advertising Standards Bureau has found an ad for a tattoo and piercing parlour to be so offensive to Christians that it breaches the advertising standards.

An Easter billboard ad for a sale on piercings (“Get Nailed!”) at Punktured showed a hand nailed to a cross, which was found to breach the standards of discriminating against or vilifying religion and also for violence. The ABS found:

“In the board’s view, the use of the image of a hand being nailed to a cross to promote body piercing services trivialises and is mocking of the significance of the crucifixion. The board considered that the use of the term ‘get nailed’ in large font in the centre of the image is demeaning and further adds to the trivialisation of the important part of the Christian faith.”

In its reasons, the board considered that the large amount of blood depicted in the ad breached the standard for violence. “The board noted that piercings and tattooing in general do not amount to this level of blood loss and the portrayal of a hand wounded in this way has no relevance to the service being promoted,” it said.

Complaints detailed in the decision said the ad was offensive and sacrilegious, “especially this close to Easter”.

Thendro Pty Ltd, which owns Punktured as well as “alternative lifestyle store” Off Ya Tree, told the board in its submission the complaint was frivolous.

The campaign finished on Easter Saturday and the billboard ad has been taken down, but the resurrection sale is still running, this time with a zombie depicted. — Emily Watkins

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