Viewers clip Red Bull's wings
Christian television viewers are up in arms over energy drink Red Bull's advertisement that shows a "bored" Jesus walking on water, saying, "It's not a miracle, you just need to know where the stepping stones are."
The advert, flighted on Monday night during e.tv's 7pm news and during the popular Grey's Anatomy drama series on M-Net, has prompted more than 100 complaints in less than a day.
While no official response from Red Bull was received, a staff member said yesterday the offending advert had been pulled from the air.
The animated advert sees Jesus sitting on a boat with two disciples, then sting up, stepping off the boat and proceeding to walk on water, saying he is "bored".
One of the disciples asks how he is able to walk on water, the other says: "I think he had a Red Bull. You know it gives him wiiiings."
Jesus, jumping around, says: "It's not a miracle. You just have to know where the stepping stones are."
He then slips on a stone, which is below the surface, and exclaims: "Oh, Jesus!"
Advertising Standards Authority spokesman Thelma Johnson said most of the complaints had been made by e.tv viewers, and that calls were still coming in yesterday afternoon.
Some Twitter users tackled "pedantic" Christians over the advert.
Twitter user @JayKeays said: "The people who get offended by the new Red Bull ad are the same people who'd call the cops on your house party."
@Kanyisa021 tweeted: "Lol it's only a matter of time b4 the red bull ad is pulled off air, staunch Christians are very intolerant nd hev no sense of humor [sic]".
This is not the first time an advert has left people of a particular belief system angered.
At the beginning of the year the advertising authority supported Eugene Gerber's disapproval of a billboard erected outside the Rivers Church in Sandton, north of Johannesburg.
The billboard showed a picture of a man holding both sides of his head in thought above the line: "An atheist is a man who believes himself to be an accident" - a quote by British poet Francis Thompson.
The advertising authority upheld the complaint and ordered that the billboard be taken down, saying the "depiction of a man with an empty head communicates that atheists are stupid".
Late last year, deodorant manufacturers Unilever SA had to remove its Axe Excite advert because it was deemed "likely to offend Christians".
In the 30-second advert, angels in the form of gorgeous women wearing mini dresses and beaming halos descend on what looks like a small Mediterranean town, bringing it to a standstill and surprising the townsfolk.
Viewer Dawie Theron wrote to the advertising authority body saying that, according to the Bible, angels were God's messengers and that he did not agree with the suggestion that they could fall for a man wearing the deodorant.