Ad watchdog called upon to solve atheist bus campaign matter after complaints

January 9th, 2009 - 3:18 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jan 9 (ANI): The atheist adverts on 800 Brit buses, declaring the probability of the none-existence of God, have received 48 complaints, and the advertising watchdog has been called in to decide on the matter.

The Advertising Standards Authority was brought in after the complaints started coming in on January 6 regarding the message, There’’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

Another 40 are said to have made their objections on January 8, with most of them telling the ASA that they consider the adverts offensive, and that they break guidelines on taste and decency.

Stephen Green, the Christian campaigner, has made claims that they should be taken down because the statement in the adverts cannot be substantiated.

If you”re going to put out what appears to be a factual statement then you have to be able to back it up. They”ve got to substantiate this proposition that in all probability, God doesn”t exist, the Telegraph quoted him as saying.

Officials at the ASA are now considering whether to investigate his complaint, which would lead it reaching a deep ontological conclusion about a supreme being.

If it does decided to go ahead and explore the matter, and if it does rule that the wording in the posters was unsubstantiated, it would mean they agree that in all probability God does exist.

The British Humanist Association, which is co-ordinating the campaign, said that it was confident that the chosen wording would not be banned by the watchdog.

Ive sought advice from some of our key people here, but I”m afraid all I”ve got out of them so far is peals of laughter. I am sure that Stephen Green really does think there is a great deal of evidence for a God though presumably only the one that he believes in but I pity the ASA if they are going to be expected to rule on the probability of God’’s existence. However, if they do investigate we will be very happy to respond, Hanne Stinson, the group’’s chief executive, said.

The ASA has not committed itself to anything as yet.

We are assessing these complaints to see whether there are grounds for an investigation, the ASA said. (ANI)

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