Dog Jesus OK'ed by Broadcasting Standards
The depiction of Jesus as a dog in adverts for The Graham Norton Show has been deemed appropriate by the Broadcasting Standards Authority.
The TV advertisement, which aired in December, included a photograph of a couple dressed as Mary and Joseph holding a dog in swaddling clothes.
In the week leading up to Christmas, TV3 broadcast the promo at 7.45pm during the United States' version of The X Factor.
A member of the public complained the depiction of Jesus as a dog was highly offensive and denigrated Christians.
The complainant said ''western'' media were cautious when stating things regarding Islam and the prophet Muhammad, but applied an ''anything goes'' attitude when it came to offending Christian beliefs.
The authority acknowledged some Christians would find the image of a dog dressed as Jesus offensive, but said it was a light-hearted attempt at humour in keeping with the general tenor of the programme.
It took into account the advert being on air during a PGR-rated programme and the show's audience expectations that it was intended to be humorous.
The authority said it was also satisfied the content did not encourage the denigration of, or discrimination against, Christians as a section of the community.