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No tampon ads during Papa Ratzi's Poland tour

Pope graphic by Mike Tidmus

Well, damn. Who would have thought that tampons were ‘inappropriate products’ to advertise while the Pope was in town? It seems that all traces of anything related to sex, bodily functions, or material that covers the naughty bits must be purged from the airwaves lest it offend Benedict, or distract the Polish population from focusing on the papal visit.

Look at what the government of Poland did in advance of the Prada Pope‘s arrival.

When Pope Benedict visits the homeland of his predecessor this week he will find Poland and its Catholic Church struggling to adapt to life after John Paul – but he will not see any advertisements for lingerie, beer or tampons on state TV.

Broadcasters have banned the promotion of ‘inappropriate products’ during Benedict’s visit, as well as ads carrying any whiff of sexual innuendo. The three state-run channels have demanded to see in advance material due to be shown during his tour, which begins on Thursday. ‘There is always the risk that the faithful may feel hurt if programming devoted to the Pope’s visit is interrupted by frivolous ads,’ said Zbigniew Badziak, head of advertising at the state network.

The decision about what to deep-six was determined by “teams of Catholic journalists.”

When I was listening to a piece on NPR about it yesterday, it also mentioned that any billboards with ads for the same products mentioned above, as well as condom ads, would be covered up so Ratzi wouldn’t have to avert his eyes or think about bodily functions or sexual urges as he tours the streets.

Bloomberg News reports the Polish public TV station also refers to the banning ads for “explosives and flammable materials.”

That leaves you plenty to comment on.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding