UK
04/09/2013 13:15 BST | Updated 04/09/2013 13:20 BST

Pro-Lifers' Gay Marriage Advert Was 'Misleading', Watchdog Rules

PA
Gay marriage advert rapped

A pro-life group has been slapped down by the advertising watchdog for "misleading" claims about gay marriage.

The adverts from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children came as part of its campaign against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, which became law in July.

The society's advert, headlined 'URGENT ACTION', included the claim the 'gay relationships will be promoted in schools', while a leaflet claimed:

Gay relationships will be promoted to primary school children via storybooks. NHS-endorsed websites, which promote high-risk sexual practices, will be mainstreamed in primary schools

This drew a formal complaint to the Advertising Standards Agency, which rebuked the group, said the adverts should not appear again and told it not to "exaggerate" how same-sex relationships would be covered in schools in future.

In its defence, the society said it had not claimed that gay marriage would be promoted ahead of other types of marriage, and cited articles from the Christian Institute website, the Telegraph website and the Coalition for Marriage website to back up its case.

But in its ruling, published on Thursday, the ASA said the claims about gay marriage being promoted in schools and via storybooks in primary schools "had not been substantiated and were misleading."

As for the claim about "high-risk sexual practices" being promoted by the NHS, the ASA said information had been "presented in a responsible and educational way".