Offensive adverts vs. misleading adverts

Some people seem shocked that I don’t agree with the recent decision to not run the ‘gay cure’ advert on London buses because I made a complaint about the Christian groups ‘Healing on the Streets‘ and an advert they were handing out. Let me explain why very briefly…

The ‘gay cure’ advert is offensive and horrid, but we all have a right to be offensive but not to have our offence catered to. Remember the recent controversy over the Jesus and Mo cartoon being used by Atheist groups on University Campuses and how most of us non-believers were outraged that one group could use their offence to this to censor the other group? Remember being angry that Rhys Morgan could be threatened by his school with expulsion if he didn’t remove the offensive cartoon from his personal blog? Well, those atheists and skeptics who were angry in those instances but protested the ‘gay cure’ ad and are happy that the ‘gay cure’ advert has been blocked are being hypocritical.

The ‘Healing on the Streets’ advert was different because the claims were found by the ASA to be misleading and in breach of CAP codes, and as a result, they were told not to use those adverts anymore. That wasn’t an issue of censorship because they are still allowed to do what they do, they’re just not allowed to make specific health-based claims on the adverts.

Hopefully, the adverts for the ‘gay cure’ weren’t rejected because of social pressure by those who were offended. Hopefully, they would have been rejected anyway because they breach CAP codes or are misleading (i.e. being gay isn’t an illness), but if not and they were blocked because people were offended, that’s just a shame.