The British public were invited to church for Easter in 1999 with red posters featuring Jesus in Che Guevara mode. “Meek. Mild. As If. Discover the Real Jesus. Easter. April 4″. The campaign was organised by the Churches Advertising Network. Inevitably the poster raised the ire of conservatives in the UK, with one politician calling for the excommunication of the people behind the campaign.
The poster is based on Korba’s well known portrait of Che Guevara, the Argentinia-born revolutionary leader instrumental in revolutions in Cuba, the Congo and Bolivia.
“We are trying to get away from the image of Jesus as a guy in a white nightie with a halo. The Sunday-school image,” said Chas Bayfield of HHCL and Partners advertising agency. (The agency has since been absorbed into Redcell Network and is now known as United London.)
“The New Testament is like an action film – violent, sensual, funny, revolutionary, angry,” Bayfield said. “It is almost never gentle, meek and mild, despite all of the songs.”
Tom Ambrose of CAN said the poster was meant to make people reconsider Jesus. “Jesus was a revolutionary figure and more revolutionary than anyone in the 20th century,” he said.