An advert for Levi's new 501 line of jeans in New Zealand has been banned following complaints from viewers.

The firm said the NZ Advertising Standards Board banned the "Born Again" ad and an edited version after complaints from a "religious sector of the community" which said born again was a religious phrase.

It added the original ad depicted a young woman rising out of the water in a pair of recut 501 jeans. Similar complaints from viewers in Australia were not upheld by advertising watchdogs there.