The Advertising Standards Authority has rejected complaints that an advert from the campaign group the Coalition for Marriage, which said that most people wanted marriage to remain unchanged, was misleading and offensive.
The group, which lobbies for marriage to remain as the union of two people of the opposite sex, ran adverts that appeared in The Daily Telegraph and the magazine Country Life. The adverts featured pictures of couples on their wedding day and included text that said 70 per cent of people wanted marriage to remain unchanged.
"If you want to keep the true meaning of marriage as it is, and has been for thousands of years, say ‘I do’ – by signing our petition," the advert said.
Twenty-six people complained to the ASA about the adverts. Complainants said the claim that 70 per cent of people wanted marriage to remain unchanged was misleading and the advert was offensive.
The Coalition for Marriage told the ASA that the 70 per cent claim was based on a survey of more than 2,000 people carried out by the polling company ComRes. It said that images of couples appeared regularly in the media and that the aim of the advert was to defend the definition of marriage.
The group said it believed that those complaining were intolerant of opposing views.
The ASA concluded that the advert was not offensive and was satisfied that the 70 per cent claim was supported by sufficient evidence.