Agnostic Ad Reported for Breach of Standards

Consumers Want Evidence to Back Claim on God’s Existence

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LONDON, JAN. 9, 2009 ( A Christian group in Great Britain is claiming that advertising standards have been breached by an agnostic ad campaign there, and they want authorities to put a stop to it.

An ad appearing on London metro trains and some 800 buses in England claims: «There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.» Stephen Green, national director of Christian Voice, has reported the ad to the Advertising Standards Authority, which oversees all advertising and has codes requiring substantiation and truthfulness.

According to ASA codes, advertisements are not allowed to mislead consumers, so advertisers must hold evidence to prove the claims they make about their products or services before an ad appears.

Green was reported as saying that he believes the ad breaks the codes, «unless the advertisers hold evidence that God probably does not exist.»

The director of Christian Voice contended that the agnostic ad also does not qualify for the ASA’s «matters of opinion» exclusion, given that it does not attribute the statement about God’s existence to any person or source. This, he said, is in contrast with many previous Christian campaigns, which propose as a matter of fact, statements such as «Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me.'»

Green concluded: «No matter what the ASA decides in our own case, they have to investigate and take action against the bus ads with their statement that there is probably no God, presented […] without a shred of supporting evidence.»

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