Reuters is carrying this story (hat tip to TitusOneNine) about a Coca-Cola ad campaign in Russia that employed religious (Russian Orthodox) symbolism in its visuals. Some believers protested, and after first trying to ignore them, the company has pulled the ads. I don't suppose they had a sudden burst of conscience, but money...you know...talks.
Now, I have a pretty high threshold for having my religious sensibilities offended, and I'm not sure that the ad for Manwich that I saw (three times during one episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent) last night rises that high. But it trends in that direction, not the least because the core of the offense is the hijacking of a well-known hymn, and I am, among other things, a hymnophile.
I didn't get all the words, but, to the tune from the finale of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, morphed several decades ago into the hymn Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee:
Manwich, Manwich, we adore thee
---- [not understood]----
(Tongues and mouths?) unfold before thee,
---- [not understood] ----
I'm not going to be contacting the American Family Association over this. I'm not going contact Hunt's or make a particular point of not buying their tomato paste. But while Manwich may not leave a bad taste in my mouth, the ad does.
One can only wonder about the outcry if Hunt's had co-opted a Jewish or Muslim song, or other symbolism from those traditions, and turned it into a commercial jingle for Sloppy Joe's. Heads would roll. Or at least there would be letters to the editor.