Thanks to John Stringer for pointing it out, in his post: Elton John opposes gay marriage. No, Elton John does not oppose gay marriage, but imagine if his image was being used to advertise that view. It would be propaganda of the worst kind, using a culturally iconic individual to potentially influence people who admire and respect Elton John's opinions with an outright lie.
Likewise with this advertisement by a state owned power company, Powershop. Pope Benedict XVI, whether you are Catholic or not, represents in the mind of many, the Church and Church authority. It is highly offensive to use him in this way, to suggest that the Church and he could ever change his mind about the redefinition of marriage, and that he would be right to do so, that his current stance is wrong.
Images form subconscious ideas in the mind, that's why so much money is spent on them in advertising, for advertising works. So, Pope Benedict XVI in a picture approving of a same-sex "marriage" is placing a lie in the minds of everyone who looks at the image uncritically and without much knowledge of the pope or the Catholic faith.
Electricity company Powershop says a billboard depicting Pope Benedict XVI marrying a male couple is not targeted at Catholics.I, for one, think it's very, very wrong of the state to support this type of obvious propaganda. At the very least, as a head of state, and highly influential person, loved by millions, the pope should not be mocked by New Zealand in this way.
The four-and-a-half storey billboard is part of a campaign by Powershop, with the slogan "Same Power, Different Attitude".
The signs have recently been put up in central Auckland and Wellington.
Powershop chief executive Ari Sargent said it had received a mostly positive reaction from the public.
The billboard's message of freedom of choice and equality aligned with the company's values, he said.
He said the billboard was not targeted at Catholics "per se", but the Pope was an analogy of big power companies.
"(It's) making the point that some larger institutions can often lose touch with their constituents."
It was never their intention to offend anyone, he said.
"We're certainly trying to provoke debate, we make no apology for that."
This post is intended to send a message to Ari Sargent, that the billboard is offensive to Catholics. As a Catholic, I was horrified when I first heard about it on the radio, and my opinion hasn't changed after seeing it.
UPDATE: The Catholic Bishop of Auckland has written to Powershop and asked them to take the outrageous and highly offensive billboards down: RNZ Morning Report Audio. Hattip: Bob McCoskrie.
Related link: Pope gay marriage ad not targeted at Catholics ~ New Zealand Herald