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By John Glenday, Reporter

May 14, 2014 | 2 min read

ITV has been attacked for its decision to air a controversial Scientology advert during prime time slots in the middle of Coronation Street and Emmerdale – amidst concern that the group is targeting vulnerable people.

The ad was given the all clear by the Advertising Standards Authority as it was not in breach of any existing regulations, allowing it to be screened at 19:30 on Monday evening.

Amongst those to complain was Summer Regan who has started a petition to have the 29 second flick banned, she said: “I was shocked when I saw an advert for Scientology on ITV; not only does it describe scientology as 'science and religion connecting' with no scientific evidence supporting the affirmations of Scientology, but it claims 'everything you've ever imagined is possible' as if it is fact, surely this is false advertising?”

In a statement the ASA said: “… the Advertising Code does not prohibit ads for religious organisations from being broadcast on channels.

“The ad itself did not contain either explicit statements of belief or incitements for viewers to change their own beliefs, and only included the advertisers’ website address, and so was unlikely to breach the Code for these reasons.”

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