Porsche just filmed and released a new ad featuring a well-dressed man, his young son, stunning views from around the city of Lisbon, and, of course, Porsche vehicles. Missing, however, was the “Cristo rei,” or Christ the King, statue for which Lisbon is famous.
In fact, it wasn’t just that the statue wasn’t caught in any of the footage, which would have been understandable. Rather, it appears that Porsche edited out the Cristo rei from footage in which it would have been included. Here that is, from 43 seconds into the ad.
Here’s the video, which was made private on YouTube by Porsche after their erasure of Christ was called out and drawn attention to on Twitter:
People on Twitter were furious about the erasure of the Cristo rei from the ad. Commenting on Alex B’s callout of the brand, people said things like “Erasing JESUS?! That’s some blasphemy right there” and “Imagine being the person actually removing the Lord frame by frame. Couldn’t be me.”
Another claimed that the issue is actually worse than just Porsche and editing out religious symbols is a common facet of advertising, saying, “I have worked with Porsche on ads before – for worldwide commercials it is very common to edit out any religious landmarks/signage. However for localised national ads that’s not the case. Any big brand does that, there is no “conspiracy” behind it.”
Responding to that claim, another commenter said that they shouldn’t do such things because it’s wrong and other companies have been caught doing similar editing, saying, “Then they shouldn’t use it. Lidl, another German company, did something similar by removing the cross off of a church dome on Santorini for an ad campaign in…Greece. They’ve got the budgets and film elsewhere.”
Though English-language media is yet to pick up on the story, Portuguese outlets have. Publico.pt, for instance, reported (translated by Google), “Porsche chose Greater Lisbon to shoot a promotional video to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its 911 model. But for those who know Lisbon’s landscapes well, there is something that doesn’t quite add up in a particular moment of the ad. This is because the Stuttgart brand decided to remove Cristo-Rei from the filming.”
The same outlet noted that other famous landmarks were not edited out, just the Cristo rei statute, further reporting, “In the video, released last Wednesday and available on YouTube, a vehicle travels through several emblematic landscapes of the capital, but also of Cascais and Sintra. When you reach Avenida da Índia, the 25 de Abril Bridge and the base of Cristo Rei are present in the image, on the other side of the Tagus, but the statue of Christ was erased, for no apparent reason.”
Another Portuguese outlet, SAPO, noted that the ad that removed Christ coincides with Pope Francis’ visit to Portugal, saying, “The launch of the two minutes and 29 seconds spot , in which the statue of Christ the King was omitted (a fact observable at 43 seconds), was launched this Wednesday, coinciding with the time of the World Youth Day in Lisbon, an event which brings Pope Francis to Portugal for the second time and where around one million pilgrims are expected from all corners of the planet.”
Featured image credit: screengrab from the embedded video
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