The Catholic League has asked Unilever, the parent company of Lipton, to withdraw an ad that is offensive to Catholics.  The ad, which is published (among other places) in the June 13-19 edition of the New York Press (a free alternative weekly), depicts a man dressed as a priest offering Holy Communion to five parishioners in a church.  The priest is holding the Host up to the first person on line who is about to receive.  The fourth person on line is holding a bowl of Lipton Onion dip, obviously suggesting that he is prepared to dunk the Host in the dip.  At the corner of the ad is a picture of the Lipton “Recipe Secrets” box that features the onion dip.

A call today to the media director at Unilever revealed that many complaints have been lodged against the ad.  But apparently nothing has been done about it.

Catholic League president William Donohue spoke for the league today:

“The Lipton ad is not poking gentle fun at Catholicism the way some other ads have.  Rather, it is demeaning the Eucharist.  And there is nothing more central to Catholicism than the belief that the Eucharist is the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

“Unilever is a monster: it has sales of $46 billion—higher than the GNP of many nations—and employs an army of 300,000 persons operating in 88 countries.  For the elites at Unilever to allow their ad department at Lipton to insult Catholics like this is the height of corporate arrogance.  And stupidity.

“The only way to rectify this problem is to immediately withdraw the ad and discipline the offenders.  We’ll give them time to work this out but one virtue the Catholic League is not known to possess is patience.”

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