Separation of Church and Sony

PlayStation ad brings forth fire and brimstone from Vatican; Sony apologizes, pulls ad depicting crown of thorns with PS button-face symbols.


In the console wars raging between Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, taking aim at a competitor not only makes for good gossip and quotes, but also is expected. No one will blink an eye if Microsoft irks Sony or if Nintendo brushes off Microsoft. But regardless of one's religious preferences, it's probably not a good idea to incense the big man upstairs or the house He built.

An ad campaign from Sony in Italy has done just that, Reuters is reporting. Full-page ads celebrating the PlayStation's 10th anniversary recently ran in the country's newspapers and magazines. They featured a young man smiling sheepishly while wearing a crown of thorns. If that already sounds touchy, it gets worse.

The thorns are contorted into the X's, O's, triangles, and squares--the symbols on the faces of the PlayStation's four main buttons. A phrase at the bottom of the ad reads "Dieci anni di passione," which translates to "Ten years of passion," a possible reference to Mel Gibson's controversial Jesus biopic The Passion of the Christ.

"This time they've gone too far," Antonio Sciortino, editor of the Catholic weekly Famiglia Cristiana (Christian Family), told a local newspaper, according to Reuters. "If this had concerned Islam there would have been a really strong reaction."

Sony has reportedly since apologized and has pulled the advertisement from circulation.

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