Feeds

Just trolling: It's OK to poke fun at Christians, says ASA

Film ad claimed monsters can smell God botherer blood

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The fact that trolls can smell Christian blood is well-known, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has ruled, and a reference to it in a fake job advert used to promote a film was unlikely to cause widespread offence, it said today.

After receiving two complaints about the advert "Troll Hunters Required" listed in The Guardian's Jobs section, the watchdog investigated the ad for breach of their Harm and Offence and Social Responsibility guidelines.

But today the ASA quashed the claim, ruling that the line "TROLLS CAN SMELL GOD-FEARING BLOOD – CHRISTIANS NEED NOT APPLY" might be distasteful but was not offensive. The ASA said the advert was a "light-hearted play on the fairy-tale theme" that most readers would recognise as a reference to an old myth.

The spoof ad, titled "Troll Hunters required", ran in The Guardian newspaper and on Guardian Online, as part of a media campaign to drive consumers to the Troll Hunter Facebook page to "apply" for the positions. The advert read:

TROLL HUNTERS REQUIRED: APPLICANTS MUST HAVE EXPERIENCE OF HUNTING LARGE GAME, MUST BE COMFORTABLE WORKING INDEPENDENTLY AND AT NIGHT. TROLLS CAN SMELL GOD-FEARING BLOOD – CHRISTIANS NEED NOT APPLY. COMPETITIVE SALARY ON COMMISSION.

Momentum Pictures defended the advert saying "that mythical stories about trolls told how they were able to smell Christian blood; a theme that featured in the film".

One further Guardian reader complained to the ASA that it was misleading to list the advert in the jobs section when it wasn't a job, but the agency ruled that the references to blood and trolls make clear that it was a "fantastical and fictional" piece.

Though the ASA has put it in the clear, Momentum Pictures has replaced its original wording with a softer, less religion-specific message: "Trolls can smell God-fearing blood, believers apply at their own risk." ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.