Sanskari Government wants no condom ads in prime time

Ivan Schwartz
December 14, 2017

The information and broadcasting ministry ordered India's estimated 900 television channels to restrict condom commercials to between 10pm and 6am, threatening repercussions if the ads fall outside graveyard hours.

"It has been brought to the notice of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting that some channels carry advertisements of condoms repeatedly which are alleged to be indecent especially for children", an advisory from the I&B ministry said.

The order bans condom advertisements from the hours of 6 10 p.m., though most kids in India go to school at 7:30 a.m. and remain there for a good portion of the 16-hour stretch. The govt. cited that condom ads were indecent, especially for the viewing of children, who watch TV in the stipulated time slot.

It referred to Rule 7 (7) of the Cable Television Networks Rules 1994, which says, "No advertisement which endangers the safety of children or create in them any interest in unhealthy practices or shows them begging or in an undignified or indecent manner shall not be carried in the cable service".

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Last month, following complaints from viewers that contraceptive brands were using explicit adult content to promote their products, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) had approached the ministry for suggestions on whether to allow telecast of such ads between 11 pm and 5 am.

According to reports, ASCI letter had specifically mentioned "Manforce", the condom brand that was in the eye of a storm after political parties sought a ban on its advertisements saying the contents were "provocative and offensive".

In September, a condom advertisement featuring Sunny Leone drew protests from a Surat-based group.

The government order obviously garnered attention on social media.

Other reports by GizPress

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