Demi Lovato's Holy Fvck album ad banned in UK

Advertising for Demi Lovato's eighth studio album Holy Fvck has been banned in the UK over concerns that the images used may cause offense. A series of billboards promoting the American singer's album appeared across London for four days in August 2022. In addition to the album's provocative title, the ad features a Holy Fvck sleeve image, which depicts Lovato lying on a cross-shaped bed and wearing a bondage-style leather outfit. Four people reportedly complained about the posters during the campaign.

Now the UK's advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), has ruled that the campaign was likely to "cause serious or widespread offence" and said the ads were irresponsibly placed where children could see them.

In its ruling, the ASA said the album's title was a clear allusion to "holy f*ck" and the artwork mimicked an image of Jesus Christ on the cross. They added that the combination of the two elements was "likely to be seen as linking sexuality to the sacred symbols of the cross and crucifixion." They ruled the image breached the code and said it must not appear again unless appropriately targeted .

In response to the complaints, Lovato's label Polydor Records said it had checked the ads for appropriateness before launching them in the capital. They said they were satisfied the ad met advertising standards and would proceed with the campaign on this basis. "Polydor accepts the ASA's ruling on this matter and apologizes for any offense caused," a representative for the brand tells Bustle in response to the ruling.

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Lovato, whose pronouns are she/her and they/them, released Holy Fvck on August 19, 2022, and explored a heavier, rockier sound. While promoting the album, the singer highlighted its provocative title in an interview with SiriusXM. "I remember being the one asking questions, like 'Can I say that? So how do I say it?'" she recalled. "It's like, look, this is fucking rock 'n' roll. They're going to beep at you if they need to, and if they don't, that's even better."