Images are undoubtedly a fundamental part of our lives, each influence our opinions and perspectives in different ways. Depending on an individual’s ideology, a range of connotations can be derived from certain controversial images.
The following image was a controversial ad campaign published in ‘Lady’, a British magazine. The ad had received six complaints by the general public and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned it, defining the image as two men ”in a seductive pose as if they were about to kiss passionately”.
A person’s ideology is tested when responding to this image, depending on their interpretation and background the connotations can be varied and differ greatly from person to person.
The responses vary from disgust, to intrigue and then on to laughter.
First of all, the men are depicted with gay and racist undertones, which can be connoted by some Christians as direct mockery to their church, a church that is notorious for being allegedly racist and opposed to same sex union. The company claims that it did not mock Catholicism but “reflected the grave troubles they considered affected the Catholic Church”.
The Romanesque styles setting, as well as the architectural background and the candle (which represents not only a church setting, but also romance) remind us of old catholic values, connoting that this is a sinful yet pleasure some act.
Although, these values are only important if your ideology and knowledge allows you to relate to the subject. I asked another UOW student, Bethany Skinner, if they found this image offensive. She stated, “No, it’s a juxtaposing image, a bit naughty and a bit sexual. Yet humorous at the same time”.
In the end this is only an image, constructed to promote an emotional response to which you associate their product. Not to intentionally offend.
Thanks for reading.