Drinks giant Coca-Cola doesn’t mind paying millions of pounds to movie stars and sportspersons to endorse their soft-drink. However, they draw the line at having Jesus Christ do so.
The company has made sure that an Italian film Seven Kilometres from Jerusalem, which shows Christ drinking from a bottle of Coke, will miss its Easter release date after complaining that the films bosses hadn’t asked for their permission for using their trademark.
Coca-Cola, in a statement, insisted that given the religious angle of the movie, they did not feel that it was appropriate for the bosses to use their product.
"We don't think it's appropriate to use the subject of this film to create publicity for our brands," the BBC quoted the cola giant, as stating.
"We advised the producer of this in writing, and are very disappointed that our request was not respected," it said.
The movie revolves around the story of an advertising executive suffering a mid-life crisis when he meets a man who appears to be Jesus.
In one scene, Jesus drinks a can of Coke, leading the ad executive to exclaim: "God, what a great endorsement!"
And though the scene seems funny, Coca-Cola was not amused and asked for it to be cut.
The director and producers refused, arguing that changing the film would be costly and time consuming. However, in the week of legal wrangling that followed, they had to bend to the cola company’s dictates, and have now been forced to postpone the Good Friday release date as the film is re-edited.
It could now take up to three weeks before the film hits cinemas.