Digital Cinema Media (DCM) has banned a Christmas ad featuring the nativity scene from showing in cinemas after ruling that it violated its policy on not accepting religious advertising.
The ad was created by charities Churchads.net and Premier Christian Communications and is part of the Christmas Starts with Christ campaign which aims to raise awareness of the origins of Christmas.
It shows a young couple sitting in a living room by a Christmas tree with their baby in a cradle as the scene slowly transforms into the nativity scene.
Premier Christian Radio submitted an application on 16 December to screen the 45 second ad however DCM would not give approval because it did not meet its advertising policy.
In a statement DCM said that its advertising policy committee which makes is responsible for approving ads “declined the advertisement on the grounds that it constitutes religious advertising. DCM has a long-standing policy of not accepting political or religious advertising in the cinemas we represent.”
Francis Goodwin, chair of ChurchAds.net, said the decision was “disappointing” and maintained that the ad was “very mild stuff – it beggars belief that anyone would want to ban it.”
Goodwin asked people to “to view the film if they have not seen it and to pray that we may yet be able to take it onto the big screen.”
Last month DCM, which handles advertising for Cineworld, Odeon, Picturehouse, Vue and over 150 independent cinemas, banned the Church of England’s ‘Lord’s Prayer’ ad on similar grounds. The nativity ad can be viewed in full above.