"We told Universal Music Operations to ensure their ads did not cause serious or widespread offence in future."
The poster adverts for Demi Lovato's eighth album, Holy Fvck, caused controversy in the UK, leading to them getting banned as they were deemed likely to "cause serious offence to Christians" in a new ruling.
Lovato's album contains a feature from Yungblud and musically, goes down a pop-punk path.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) pointed out that the album's art - "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 album title Holy Fvck would likely be "viewed as linking sexuality to the sacred symbol of the crucifix and the crucifixion."
These visual elements could, therefore, "cause serious offence to Christians." The ASA concluded that the poster adverts breached the code, via BBC.
Holy Fvck poster adverts were plastered across multiple locations in London last year. Polydor Records, a subsidiary of Universal Music in the UK, insisted that they meant no offence by placing the posters where they did.
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The regulator concluded, "We told Universal Music Operations to ensure their ads did not cause serious or widespread offence in future."
In May last year, the vocalist of Polish extreme metal band Behemoth, Nergal (real name Adam Darski), was acquitted of blasphemy charges in his home country in a win against censorship in art.
“This has begun over 3 years ago, when one of the PIS politicians felt that Behemoth has offended Polish National Emblem with a design which was used to promote Polish leg of a Behemoth’s tour," the vocalist wrote on Instagram.
"Obviously, nothing of such was happening. And it’s been sooo clear for everyone except for the right wing politicians and their fans. Yet the the politicized prosecutor’s office launched an investigation and accused us of insulting the Polish emblem.
“3 years ago the first court hearing was held. Eventually we won and were all acquitted. Then, the prosecutor appealed and the appellate court recalled the case to the 1st instance for reconsideration. And now we have been acquitted again! But the story continues, have your fingers crossed. Still, it’s the second battle won in a row!
“ANOTHER battle won! Thank you all who made that happen, thank the Judge for being fair, open minded and reasonable. And brave in such strange times…
“ART & logic vs. religious fanatics 3 : 0”
In 2021, Aussie artist Sam Fischer dropped a video for the single What Other People Say with Demi Lovato, and Fischer appeared on The Ellen Show alongside her to perform the track. What Other People Say was written by Fischer before his hit This City.
"What Other People Say is a confession, realising how far away you can get from who you are in an effort to be liked," Fischer upon its release.