The ASA formally investigated two complaints about a poster for a new Don Broco album. The poster featured a religious icon with the face replaced by a snarling dog. The complainants believed the image to be of the Virgin Mary, and objected that the ad would cause serious offence to Christians.
Exterion Media (UK) Ltd responded that they did not consider the ad would cause serious or widespread offence in the context of the product being advertised.
The ASA agreed. The complaint was not upheld, because the ad did not meet the test of being likely to 'cause serious or widespread offence'.
While the regulator acknowledged that the image in the ad was reminiscent of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa, a "revered icon" of the Virgin Mary in the Catholic Christian faith, it said the album artwork wasn't actually an alteration of the specific image. This isn't the first time album art has come under the scrutiny of the ASA. In 2012, a poster for Steel Panther's Balls Out album featuring a semi-nude woman was banned for being overtly sexual. In 2006, a billboard for 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin' soundtrack was spiked for showing the rapper naked from the waist up with a gun tucked into his belt and a baby balancing on his shoulder.