On Monday, the Information and Broadcasting ministry issued an advisory directing television channels against telecasting condom advertisements between 6 am and 10 pm, attributing the result to complaints that some channels aired the ads frequently and that they were inappropriate for watching.
The ministry explained that they have received complaints that condom ads were offensive, especially for children. It cited clauses of the Cable Television Network Rules of 1994 to urge television channels to abstain from regularly airing ads of various contraceptive brands. The ministry order, though just an “advisory”, warned failure to obey would lead to “actions as per provisions of the rules”.
Last month, following complaints from viewers that contraceptive brands were using open adult content to endorse their products, theAdvertising Standards Council of India(ASCI) had come up to the ministry for ideas on whether to allow telecast of such ads between 11 pm and 5 am
The government gave advertisers a two-hour breather by comforting airing hours and permitting channels to air ads between 10 pm and 6 am. Since slotting ads is not the authorization of the ASCI, the intended regulatory organisation had to ask for the ministry’s interference and made specific references to advertisements by Manforce contraceptive, certified by actressSunny Leone, which had run into uneven weather with political parties and viewers over its Navratrithemed contraceptive ad.
The advisory cited clauses of the Cable Television Network Rules of 1994. The advisory, copies of which were send to ASCI, channels, theNews Broadcasters AssociationandIndian Broadcasting Foundation, said Rules 7(7) and 7(8) banned content that “endangers the safety of children or creates in them any notice in unhealthy practices or shows them begging or in an indecorous or indecent manner”, and which is “offensive, vulgar, suggestive, repulsive or offensive themes or treatment”.