NEW YORK – A toilet company that had planned to put up a billboard depicting naked backsides on the side of a church has apparently turned the other cheek.
In an announcement on Monday, the pastor of the Times Square Church in Manhattan and representatives from the Toto toilet-maker explained that they had reached a settlement over the billboard.
The ad will now keep its place on the outside of the megachurch, but company heads have agreed to cover the naked buttocks with a white band that runs the length of the advertisement.
"This is our bottom line," will be placed along the blank space. "Clean is happy. No ifs, ands, or ..."
The Toto company had planned on putting a giant billboard promoting their Washlet – a bidet toilet that cleans a person's rear-end via water and warm air – by showing exposed bottoms with smiley faces on them. The racy ad would be placed on the same building as the Times Square Church.
The pastor of the 8,000-member church, Pastor Neil Rhodes, objected to the ad, however, explaining that it would not be good for congregants to look at nudity as they go to church.
"You walk into a church building, you have naked bodies before your eyes – how are you going to close your eyes and seek God?" asked Rhodes in the New York Post. "It's wrong as far as we're concerned."
The megachurch pastor filed a lawsuit in early July to completely bar the billboard from going up, and the judge temporarily stopped the poster – which wraps around the whole building – from erecting until a decision could be made.
The recent settlement was a compromise between the two parties, covering the bare bottoms while still running the advertisement.
"[Our] thought-provoking [billboard was] not intended to offend," said Toto representatives in a statement.
The company still plans on running the uncensored version of the campaign on their website and Los Angeles billboards.