An ad for ice cream which showed two priests about to kiss has been banned after it was ruled to be offensive to Catholics.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said that the ad, for Antonio Federici ice cream, was likely to cause “serious offence”.

The company has already been censured for ads showing pregnant nuns and priests and nuns in seductive poses.

According to the ASA, six people complained at the gay priests ad, which had the tagline “We believe in salivation”.

The ASA said that it “considered the portrayal of the two priests in a sexualised manner was likely to be interpreted as mocking the beliefs of Roman Catholics and was therefore likely to cause serious offence to some readers”.

Antonio Federici, which is a Catholic company, argued that the ad did not mock Catholicism but reflected “grave troubles” in the church such as the issue of gay priests.

The company said it believed many people found these issues more offensive than an ad which “celebrated” homosexuality and added that it would continue to challenge the “troubled” Catholic Church.