The advertising biz has always been low-hanging fruit for parody. From Darrin Stephens to Dennis Bagley, the men in the gray flannel suits have long been selling their souls on the clients’ behalf.

But it’s an Italian film that went too far, at least as far as Coca-Cola is concerned. According to an article titled “Coke Halts Jesus Pic” in—where else?—Variety, the company has taken legal action against 7 Km da Gerusalemme, in which an advertising man traveling in the desert gives Jesus a ride and offers him a Coke. “My God, what a testimonial!” he cries after watching Jesus down the frosty beverage.

Coca Cola in a letter complained to producers Graziano Prota and Angelo Sconda demanding that the scene be cut because it is likely to give Coca Cola a negative image and complaining that use of their brand was unauthorized.

‘We are not interested in this kind of product placement,’ a Coca Cola Italia spokeswoman said.

Talk abour your “halo effect”!

Note to Kinky Friedman fans: Don’t sell your copy of the author’s 1994 novel while Coke is in the mood to censor.

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