4.03.11 | bob |
In the context it’s pretty obvious that that’s a play on words designed to make you stop and go “Whaaaa?” and draw you into the campaign. It would be pretty churlish to interpret the slogan as being in some way against religious people (it’s target audience is obviously non-religious people from the outset) or to interpret it as any kind of general admonishment of the public. Now, if a commercial company put out an ad saying “For God’s sake buy our brand of detergent you idiots” maybe there’d be a point that the advertisement was being rude and aggressive toward everyone reading it. But the ironic use of a common phrase simply to highlight the importance of the message is hardly “offensive”.
Unless you’re totally over-sensitive to the slightest reference to religion, that is. The planned ads (which the BHA has made available online) were rejected by advertisers after they got the thumbs down from the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP). Fortunately, bus ads with alternate wording are already on the streets.
Like the Atheist Bus Campaign, since the fundraising appeal launched last year the Census Campaign quickly seems to have influenced secular organisations around the world, with Census-related advertising (grappling with the under-representation of non-religious people) also due to appear in Australia and Ireland.
You can still donate to fund Census Campaign ads for this important campaign at www.justgiving.com/census.