Tesco has apologised for a beer advert that ran with the "offensive" slogan: "Good Friday just got better."

The advert, promoting "great offers" on alcoholic beverages, ran in some newspapers in the run up to Easter.

The supermarket chain said it would not run the promotion again after it attracted criticism from religious figures.

Reverend Richard Coles, former keyboard player for the The Communards, said the advert was "extraordinarily and unnecessarily ignorant" and would likely "cause offence to many of their customers".

"It's not clever. It gets the 'Good 'of Good Friday wrong," he added.

Good Friday sees Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday.

The meaning of "Good" is contested but differs from how the word is used in everyday conversation.

Some claim it is simply another way of saying "holy", while others suggest it is a corruption of "God's Friday".

Michael Wakelin, executive associate in public education for the Faculty of Divinity at Cambridge University, said Tesco had "got it badly wrong" with a "crass" advert.

"This is a sign of desperate religious illiteracy," he told the BBC. "We are illiterate as a nation for lots of reasons ... This is a sign of people who have not taken the trouble to understand the religious mind."

It was also a "decidedly poor way of treating such a holy day", he added.

But others took to social media to defend the advert.

"Like it or not the Easter is also a secular holiday as well as a religious one. Most are travelling to families rather than to church," one user wrote.

A Tesco spokesperson said: "We know that Easter is an important time of the year for our customers.

"It is never our intention to offend and we are sorry if any has been caused by this advert."