Spanish premier league club Getafe is disturbing Catholic supporters with a TV ad campaign using Biblical and other religious characters to call for devotion to the game of football. The spot, shown first in public at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez, opens with Abraham being called to take the life of Isaac, his son, as a sign of devotion. Moses, in the desert, facing a call from God, considers the cost of devotion. Joan of Arc, maid of Orleans, burned at the stake, faces the cost of integrity. Adam, in the Garden of Eden, considers the cost of losing a rib. Jesus, on the cross, breathes his last word. What makes the ad controversial is the associated voiceover suggesting that such sacrificial acts should first be made for the sake of the football club, Getafe.
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The devotion ad was developed at Publicis Lado C, Madrid, under the creative direction of Lucas Paulino and Angel Torres.
“It wasn’t our intention, but if someone has been offended the most I can do is apologise, but nothing more,” Getafe president Angel Torres told reporters.
“I believe there are more important things in the world like terrorism or hunger than for people to be worried about an advert. People are getting things out of proportion. There is nothing in it to offend people. We have been respectful to everyone. I am sure that within a few days we’ll return to talking about football and forget all about this.”
Getafe has withdrawn the first scene, featuring Abraham, hoping to deflect criticism. Apparently, the remaining scenes are just as offensive, considered sacrilegious by not only Catholic bishops, but also by city leaders.