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Girls Gone Wild shares an audience with … the pope?

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Joe Francis and a girl almost gone wild.

Prayers, priests, crucifixes, Communion and … tits? The devoted saw a holy vision (or unholy, depending on your viewpoint) when a Girls Gone Wild ad interrupted a live broadcast of Good Friday Mass at the Vatican late on Friday night.

No, it wasn’t a conniving guerrilla-marketing tactic courtesy of the notorious, oft-prosecuted Girls Gone Wild CEO Joe Francis. It was an innocent mistake due to an Emergency Alert System test, which can cause scheduled programming to be replaced with emergency information along with regular programming from another pre-selected channel.

The pre-selected channel’s regular programming for 2 a.m. on a Friday night (due to the time zone differences between Rome and Philadelphia, where the broadcast was being aired) included the 30-second ad, undoubtedly aimed at insomniac middle-aged men butt-stuck to their La-Z-Boys.

Girls Gone Wild, now endorsed by the Pope? Not likely.

Girls Gone Wild, now endorsed by the Pope? Not likely.

But instead of that target market, many good Christians were forced to endure the commercial for the “Search for the Wildest Bar in America” DVD while they were trying to search for spiritual enlightenment.

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From the Archives
Joe Francis gone wild! (1/15/09)

However, only one person phoned Comcast to complain. Not only was it generally not a problem, it was a boon for Francis and his ever-booming business. Girls Gone Wild reported a huge spike in sales after the naughty little clip aired for the vast Catholic audience.

“We may have tapped into a whole new market,” Girls Gone Wild CEO Joe Francis said. “It seems that many of the same people interested in the Pope’s message are also interested in ours. [I’m] happy to have shared an audience with the Pope.”

I think it’s safe to assume that the Pope is not so happy to have shared an audience with Francis, although he probably did a better job than the Shamwow! guy at perking up his flock.

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Jennifer Grafiada

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