The company behind a bold billboard showing the Pope marrying a gay couple says the marriage equality debate aligns with values it stands for: “freedom of choice and equality”.
The towering image is on four and a half storeys on Auckland’s Beach Rd, near Vector Arena.
It’s the latest in a series of confronting “same power, different attitude” ads by Powershop, whose chief executive Ari Sargent tells GayNZ.com Daily News objective of the overall campaign is to position Powershop as a different power company: “ie. not a monolithic faceless corporation, rather an approachable human organisation that genuinely cares for our customers as people.”
Sargent says to do this the campaign uses thought provoking satire.
“We have chosen a strong creative style that is as bold and colourful as the messages. The main characters in the campaign are all hand-illustrated, and we absolutely love them.
“Specifically, the Pope image has been chosen because the Marriage Equality debate/issue aligns well with values Powershop stands for – freedom of choice and equality.”
Sargent says he is “a little” worried about backlash from Catholics, “but we are happy to stand up for our values,” he explains.
“It was also never our intention to offend anyone, and we know that marriage equality is frequently debated within the church as well as outside. The choice of the Pope as the main character is primarily because he is highly recognisable, particularly in New Zealand.”
It’s a vastly different stance to Westpac, which told GayNZ.com Daily News it was not expressing an opinion with a TV ad showing a gay couple being married.