Artwork promoting Don Broco's latest album, which appears to depict the outline of the Virgin Mary with the face of a snarling dog, has escaped a ban from the advertising watchdog following complaints it could "seriously offend" Christians.
The poster for the English rock band's Technology album provoked two complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) who raised the issue with the group's record label.
While the regulator acknowledged that the image in the ad was reminiscent of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa, a "revered icon" of the Virgin Mary in the Catholic Christian faith, it said the album artwork wasn't actually an alteration of the specific image.
This isn't the first time album art has come under the scrutiny of the ASA. In 2012, a poster for Steel Panther's Balls Out album featuring a semi-nude woman was banned for being overtly sexual. In 2006, a billboard for 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin' soundtrack was spiked for showing the rapper naked from the waist up with a gun tucked into his belt and a baby balancing on his shoulder.
Of the Don Broco ruling, the ASA said: "We acknowledged that some members of the Christian faith would object to the use of the image in an ad, and in particular the replacement of the face with a snarling dog."
It continued that it was clear the ad was for an album and that the image was being presented as artwork in that context.
Furthermore, the ASA said it didn't believe the picture would be seen as "mocking or derogatory" towards the Madonna or Christian faith in general, and that there was nothing else within the ad which gave that impression.
"We concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence," it finished.