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'Satanic' Renault ad safe

2007-10-26 16:26
The Advertising Standards Authority has given its blessing to an allegedly satanic billboard for the Renault Megane.

It dismissed complaints by two members of the public that the ad, which shows a large red hand with long fingernails about to flick a Megane away, was offensive to Christians.

The payoff line in the ad is "wicked performance".

The ASA said while the so-called "horned hand" was a satanic symbol, the gesture was also used by supporters of sports teams such as the University of Texas, where it was known as "hook 'em horns", an approximation of the shape of the horns of a longhorn steer.

In Turkey the sign was popular as a nationalist symbol, while in Hinduism the gesture was used to dispel evil.

The ASA said the word "wicked" was slang used by car fanatics to reflect the sportiness of a car.

"When viewing the advertisement as a whole, the hypothetical reasonable person would realise that this advertisement is a cheeky reference to the car's performance," the ASA said.

"It is not a literal or religious message and would not reasonably be interpreted as such Renault Megane."

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