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Watchdogs' blessing for atheist ads.

Byline: By Martha Linden

BUS posters saying: "There's probably no God" are not breaking advertising rules, watchdogs have ruled.

More than 300 people complained about the atheist ads, which appeared on 800 buses in Scotland, England and Wales.

But the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said they are to take no action as the posters do not break their code of conduct.

They said: "Although the ASA acknowledges that the content of the ad would be at odds with the beliefs of many, it concluded that it was unlikely to mislead or to cause serious or widespread offence."

The pounds 140,000 campaign, with the slogan: "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life", was launched this month following a fund-raising drive supported by the British Humanist Association.

The campaign was prompted by a suggestion from comedy writer Ariane Sherine, who objected to a set of Christian adverts running on London buses.

Atheist campaigner Professor Richard Dawkins also backed the campaign.

Religious groups complained to the ASA, arguing that the posters broke the advertising code on the grounds of substantiation and truthfulness.

Southampton First bus driver Ron Heather even refused to drive his vehicle when the saw the ad.

The posters also appeared on London Underground trains.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 22, 2009
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