Television broadcasters in India were ordered to change “overtly sexual” deodorant ads featuring scantily clad men and women in racy storylines — or take them off the air within five days.
If India’s Information and Broadcasting Ministry has its way, ads like the one above would be on their way out.
On Thursday, the ministry said in a statement the sexually suggestive ads violate India’s advertising code, which states “cable operators should ensure that the portrayal of the female form… is tasteful and aesthetic and within the well established norms of good taste and decency.”
It said that the adverts portraying women “lustily hankering after men under the influence of such deodorants,” offended “good taste and decency,” by “tickling libidinous male instincts.”
Wild Stone, Addiction Deo, Set Wet Zatak, Denver Deo and Axe are some of the brands affected, but the BBC reports none of the companies named by the ministry have responded, or are likely to respond in public to the order because of the sensitivities surrounding the issue.
Alan Collaco, Secretary General of the Advertising Standards Council of India, a voluntary industry self-regulation group, says while complaints for deodorant ads have been high over the past two years, in many cases the advertising is not objectionable. “Any visual that is not likely to cause grave or widespread offense is not a cause of concern. Most of these deodorant ads are played after 11pm on TV, outside family viewing timing,” he says in a statement on the ASCI website.
While it remains to be seen what action the ministry will take should networks defy the order, last year the ministry suspended Fashion TV (FTV) for 10 days after the channel featured topless models. (Via BBC)