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Lar Corbett's Bar in Thurles in trouble over ad featuring Jesus with a pint

A complaint said she was offended by the ad “as a Catholic”.

Image: Shutterstock

AN AD FOR Lar Corbett’s Bar in Thurles that featured a depiction of Jesus holding a pint of beer has been found to be in breach of advertising standards.

The Facebook ad was released ahead of Good Friday earlier this year, the first Good Friday in 90 years that pubs had been allowed to sell alcohol. 

The ad displayed drink deals that were available on the day, including Guinness for €1.99, and a promotion that stated: “Bring a Bus for a free bar”.

The advertisement also featured a caricature image that resembled Jesus surrounded by a pint glass, a can and another glass. He is holding a pint of beer in one hand and giving a thumbs up with the other. A speech bubble stated: “Thank God its Good Friday. Pubs open let’s celebrate.”

A complainant who contacted the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI ) had two issues with the ad. The first being that it promoted alcohol “in a way that could be harmful” and the second in relation to the use of religious imagery.

“She said she was a Catholic and was highly offended by the picture of Our Lord holding a pint. She said she felt the advertisement was both dangerous and insulting,” the ASAI said.

The bar in question did not respond to the complaint, something the ASAI expressed concern about, noting that “there is an onus on advertisers” to conform to the ASAI’s code of standards.

In its decision, the ASAI said that the ad broke six different sections of the code, among them the section relating to respect for religious beliefs.

Section 3.17 states:

Marketing communications should respect the dignity of all persons and should avoid causing offence on grounds of gender, marital or civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race or membership of the Traveller community.

Another section that the ad breached says states that alcohol ads should include “a responsibility message to drink alcohol responsibly”.

The sanction for is that the bar cannot use the ad in the same format again.

Lar Corbett’s Bar has previously faced criticism for its drink promotions.

In 2016, Senator Frances Black question whether the owners ‘had a conscience’ after the bar had offered a Black Friday promotion of pints and shots on sale for 99 cent.

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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