Opinion Brief

Is the Doritos Super Bowl ad blasphemous?

A spot created for on online contest gently skewers Catholicism—and is causing a stir even though it will never air on TV

The video: An entry in a Super Bowl ad contest sponsored by Frito-Lay is creating more controversy than most big-budget ad agencies could hope for (view a news report below). In the clip—which went viral on YouTube but failed to make the contest's final round—a pastor facing an empty church comes up with a novel plan to boost attendance: Substitute Doritos for the communion wafers and ditch the sacramental wine in favor of Pepsi. Although the ad, called "Feed the Flock," will not air during the big game, Christian groups are protesting, with one claiming the clip "blasphemes the Holy Eucharist." The ad received over 100,000 views on YouTube before being pulled from the site.
The reaction: "I'm Catholic… but I honestly laughed when I saw this," says Danielle Sullivan at Babble. Even "my kids who attend Catholic school know the difference between the Holy Communion and a joke. Anyone who is strong in their faith won't be dissuaded by this commercial." Still, says Tom Wasserman at Mashable, this embarrassing corporate snafu "showcases the downside of crowd-sourcing." Watch news coverage of the incident:

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