A bikini company celebrated its 38th anniversary, but its ad campaign has provoked the ire of Christians.
According to Christian Today, the family-owned Ta-Bou bikini brand launched its anniversary ad featuring a model posing by and holding a crudely made crucifix. Its caption in German reads, "Nicht wie Jesus oder Alexander! Wir machen weiter ... " which is translated as "Not like Jesus or Alexander! We continue ..."
Alexander the Great died at the age of 32, while Jesus is believed to have been crucified at 33.
The ad was released across Switzerland, and Christians there did not take it lightly.
"Quite aside from the fact that this advert is meant to offend religious feeling, it is a load of nonsense," said Thomas Hanimann, spokesperson for the Swiss Evangelical Alliance. "It is a shame that the company and the marketing experts responsible for it did not want to go more deeply into the question of belief which it seems for them was a taboo."
Nicolas Mori of the Swiss Reformed Church deems the ad as completely wrong since the name "Jesus" did not disappear after 33 years; rather, it has lived on for 2,000 years and will do so for a long time in the future. The bikini label, on the other hand, "will almost certainly vanish faster than the cross in the church."
Simon Spengler of the Catholic Church in Zürich, meanwhile, said that Jesus died for everyone, "including this attractive young lady," referring to model Valeria De Nicola, the daughter of Ta-bou's head.
"1.2 billion people worldwide believe in his name," Spengler said. "Ta-bou therefore have a bit of catching up to do. I don't really believe that they are going to achieve that."
The head of the company Gianni De Nicola, on the other hand, reportedly said the company wants "to fight for ethics in textile production and that is what counts." The latest campaign has reportedly received positive feedback.
"I admit not everybody understands it, but they all realised that it is very significant," he said, as quoted by Mail Online. "I guess there will be people that complain but you can't keep all of the people happy all of the time."
He shared that he doesn't have problems sleeping at night.