A poster advertising pop star Demi Lovato’s latest album came under fire and was essentially banned from certain arenas of public display in the U.K. after complaints over its offensive imagery.
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The signage, which reportedly featured the singer lying on a massive crucifix-shaped mattress wearing what has been described as bondage-style garb, has been prohibited after previously being displayed last year in six locations throughout London.
The photo on the poster came from the cover art for Lovato’s new album titled, “Holy Fv**,” with the poster being used to advertise the singer’s music.
The U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), an advertising watchdog, received four complaints over the banner’s presence in London, with the authority barring the image Aug. 23, the same month Lovato’s album was released, The Christian Post reported.
The ASA, which reportedly initially greenlit the ad, was tasked with exploring whether the imagery was “likely to cause serious or widespread offense” and was placed irresponsibly in locations visible to children.
Universal Music Operations’ Polydor Records noted the poster was meant to promote Lovato’s album and, according to the ASA, didn’t believe it would offend.
The agency, though, found that the text of the album title — clearly a reference to a curse word — would be found offensive by many, especially considering children could potentially see it.
Furthermore, the agency assessed the religious elements of the poster.
“We considered that the image of Ms. Lovato bound up in a bondage-style outfit whilst lying on a mattress shaped like a crucifix, in a position with her legs bound to one side which was reminiscent of Christ on the cross, together with the reference to ‘holy fv**,’ which, in that context, was likely to be viewed as linking sexuality to the sacred symbol of the crucifix and the crucifixion, was likely to cause serious offense to Christians,” the ASA wrote.
These determinations led the agency to conclude the CAP Code, a set of advertising standards in the U.K., had been violated. The poster of Lovato could, thus, no longer be displayed without more pointed regard for these factors.
“The ad must not appear again in the form complained of unless it was suitably targeted,” the ASA concluded. “We told Universal Music Operations, Ltd., to ensure their ads did not cause serious or widespread offense in future.”
Lovato has, in the past, openly discussed faith and credited God after overcoming a drug overdose. But she has also reportedly described herself as a person who is “pansexual” and attracted to “anything, really.” She has said she hid this sexual fluidity due to her faithful upbringing.
“I felt a lot of shame, because, growing up in Texas as a Christian, that’s very frowned upon,” she said in 2021 on Joe Rogan’s podcast, speaking about same-sex attraction. “Any attraction that I ever had toward a female at a young age, I shut it down before I even let myself process what I was feeling.”
Lovato also said she cut her hair short to break from “gender and sexuality norms.”
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