Daily Mail pulls Foxtel ads after ‘comedy’ priests appeared on Catholic sex abuse articles

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 10.20.00 amThe Daily Mail has pulled down an advertising takeover for new Foxtel comedy series Open Slather after images of actors Stephen Curry and Shane Jacobson posing as priests appeared against articles relating to allegations of child sexual abuse by the Catholic clergy.

The takeover, which featured two full-length fixed ads – ads that stay in view as the user scrolls – started this morning and appeared on every news page on the website.

However, Daily Mail Australia managing director Peter Holder told Mumbrella it had pulled the campaign after being “made aware of this unfortunate placement”.

The ads appeared against at least three articles posted in the last 24 hours which dealt with claims the Catholic church had covered up historic sex abuse cases in Victoria. One article centred on Cardinal George Pell denying being part of any cover up, another on a man’s story of abuse by Catholic clergy and a third detailing how a number of people in one class had taken their own lives.

Foxtel is currently heavily trailing Open Slather, a new sketch show featuring a number of high-profile Australian comedians which is set to air on the Comedy Channel on Sunday for the first time.

The two ‘priest’ characters appear to be amongst the regulars on the show, and are featured in this trailer.

open slather priests

Managing director of Daily Mail Australia Peter Holder told Mumbrella in a statement: “Foxtel had a takeover sponsorship for our news channel to promote its new comedy show Open Slather. The creative appeared on every news article page.

“As soon as we were made aware of this unfortunate placement, and after consulting with our client, we disabled the sponsorship creative on that channel. We apologise for any offence this may have caused, this was never our nor our client’s intention.”

Holder confirmed the campaign had not been cancelled, and that it would not run on the news section of the site when if returned.

Foxtel has been contacted for comment.

A trailer for Open Slather:

Alex Hayes


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