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A screenshot from the potato chips commercial screened on Italian television (TG7/Amica)

An Italian TV advertisement that depicts nuns eating potato chips instead of hosts while receiving Holy Communion has been accused of blasphemy by an outraged association of Catholic TV viewers. Source: The Guardian.

The 30-second ad for Amica Chips – one of Italy’s top potato chip brands – takes place in a monastery and opens with nuns preparing to receive Holy Communion. Their mother superior realises that the tabernacle is empty of hosts, and so fills it with chips.

With Schubert’s Ave Maria playing in the background, the nuns file towards the altar and when the first is given the Eucharist from the priest, she widens her eyes and a crunching sound is heard. The ad, which is airing on Mediaset, Italy’s largest commercial broadcaster, and other private networks, ends with the mother superior finishing off the packet.

Lorenzo Marini Group, the company that created the commercial, said the campaign was aimed at a younger market and “with a strong British irony” and was intended to “express the irresistible crunchiness of Amica Chips” in a deliberately exaggerated and provocative way.

But the chips-selling strategy didn’t go down well with Aiart, an association of Catholic TV viewers, which has called for the advert to be “immediately suspended”.

Giovanni Baggio, the association’s president, accused the chips company of resorting to blasphemy in order to increase sales.

He said the commercial “offends the sensitivity of millions of practising Catholics” and was “outrageous” because it “trivialises the comparison between the potato chip and the consecrated particle”.

Amica Chips did not immediately respond to a request for comment when contacted by The Guardian, although its phone hold music was Ave Maria with the sound of crunching.


Catholics’ fury as Italian TV ad depicts nuns eating crisps for communion (The Guardian)