The ASA and the Church

When an advert goes on TV or a billboard is it subject to scrutiny by the ASA, the Advertising Standards Authority.

That's not to say the advert should be approved by the ASA prior to "going live" but if there's something misleading or incorrect about the advert then the ASA can and will act.

Aside from Politics which are exempt there's another "industry" that seems to get away with all sorts of adverts without being taken to task, the Church.

Think about it, you've seen all those billboards outside churches making all sorts of weird claims, I don't mean the ones that try to be witty but the ones where the advert basically says "Come to church and have a better life".

Should these claims not be picked up by the ASA or even Trading Standards?  Granted, you've not "bought" anything although you are highly encouraged to donate via the collection plate.

Where is the proof that by me going to church on a Sunday I would lead a better life?  And how would it be better?  Would I have more money?  A better car?  A bigger house?

It simply cannot be proven.

Then there's the adverts which make claims from the bible, actual quotes.

But just a second, how on earth can you honestly QUOTE a sentence?  There's absolutely no proof whatsoever that the passage you're quoting was even said.  The bible was written over hundreds of years by different people, where is this log of quotes?

When Jesus was talking with Peter, was there a PA sat with them, scribing the entire conversation?

No? So you're telling me the entire bible was made up by people who weren't even alive at the time?


So let's move on then to Trading Standards because if you think about it, there's a dude (or sometimes a lady) vicar stood at the lectern or pulpit preaching away, telling you that Jesus said this and Jesus said that, without as much as any proof at all.  In fact, I'm pretty certain the vicar just makes it up.  But he or she is paid to sell you a dream whereby following God or Jesus (and it's odd that sometimes the 2 are mixed up) and having faith will improve your life.

Let's start targeting these false claims now ASA and Trading Standards, give us proof!

Imagine Boots the Chemist advertising a cream that you rub on your stomach and it just makes fat disappear.  Then you buy it and rub it on and sod all happens.  They'd rightly be taken to task over it.

But a Church can make all manner of claims without any form of penalty at all.  Surely that's wrong?