Friday, May 16, 2008

Govt asks to take 'vulgar' ads off air: Govt to TV channels

Moving in to sanitise the small screen, the government on Friday banned two underwear advertisements, calling them indecent and vulgar. The I&B ministry has issued an advisory to all entertainment and news channels to pull Frenchie X and Lux Cozy advertisements off the air.

In the Frenchie X advertisement, a lissome woman enters a room to find a young man in his briefs and slams the door shut leaving the rest to the imagination. According to sources, the advertisement was being repeatedly screened during the IPL matches that led to viewers' complaints.

The ministry said that there had been an increase in the number of tasteless advertisements of late and these were not suitable for unrestricted public viewing. "We have received a lot of complaints from viewers. So we have asked all channels to refrain from showing such ads," a source said.

The Centre had also recently asked Star News and MTV to run a scroll apologizing for screening the new Axe deodorant advertisement. Both channels have run the scroll for three days. Television channels have also been instructed "to be more careful in future in selection of advertisements and to strictly adhere to the advertisement code".

In Friday's notice, the ministry pointed out that the advertisements were revoked because they were considered "indecent, vulgar and suggestive" and violated rule 7(8) of the advertising code prescribed in the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995. The code lays down that "indecent, vulgar, suggestive, repulsive or offensive themes or treatment shall be avoided in all advertisements".

This is not the first occasion that advertisements have been found objectionable. Channels had been issued a warning in 2007 regarding a similar advertisement of Gen-X and Lux Cozy undergarments. The ministry, in the notice, had asked channels to be more careful in future in selection of content of advertisements.

In February 2007, the government had taken cognizance of complaints regarding advertisements promoting the India-West Indies one-day cricket series on Neo Sports.


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