On June 15, the Catholic League issued a news release protesting a Lipton ad that showed a man waiting to receive Holy Communion carrying a bowl of Lipton onion dip; the obvious implication was that the man was about to dunk the Host in the dip.  Catholic League president William Donohue wrote to Unilever COO Matthew Shattock (Unilever is the parent company of Lipton) asking that the ad be withdrawn.

On June 18, Shattock faxed a letter to Donohue saying that the ad, which was published in the June 13-19 edition of the New York Press, “has been withdrawn and will not run again in any other publication.”  Shattock said, “The decision to place the ad was an error in judgment on our part.”  He assured Donohue that he has “taken steps necessary to prevent a reoccurence.”  He ended saying, “We deeply regret any distress this ad has caused.”

William Donohue expressed his relief today:

“Unilever acted quickly and responsibly to end the controversy over the Lipton ad.  The action taken by Unilever COO Matthew Shattock effectively terminates this issue.

“Ads that demean the Real Presence will always be challenged by the Catholic League.  Those who work in the corporate world and have no idea what the Real Presence is need a crash course in Catholicism.   Those who know what it means yet persist in offending Catholics are reprehensible.  Whether ignorance or malice is at work, it is not always easy to say.  But one thing is clear: the celerity and certainty of a Catholic League response should never be underestimated.”

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