Pakistan Bans Sexy Condom Commercial

The ad, starring supermodel Mathira, was pulled after authorities deemed it immoral

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The humanitarian effort to make contraception more widely available in Pakistan, the sixth most populated country in the world, just took a step back. On Tuesday, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) pulled a commercial off the air that advertised a line of condoms on the grounds that it was indecent. The condoms come from DKT International, a non-profit that focuses on family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention.

In its directive to Pakistan’s Broadcasting Association, PEMRA noted that the ad was “perceived as indecent, immoral and in sheer disregard to our socio-cultural and religious values,” according to the Express Tribune. The commercial has also been criticized by many Pakistanis for being too racy and failing to discuss condom use as a family planning tool.

By Western standards, it’s not much to raise eyebrows: supermodel Mathira Mohammed tends adoringly to her less attractive, new husband, even asking neighbors for ice to cool his drink, to the consternation of the couple next door. Finally, Mohammed’s husband fesses up: The beautiful woman adores him because he uses Josh condoms, which, by the way, are also available in strawberry flavor.

One  columnist, Zahra Peer Mohammed, wrote in Pakistan’s Express Tribune that she supported PEMRA’s take-down of the ad because it missed the mark in its portrayal of women. While Josh’s efforts to advertise birth control are laudable, the commercial tells viewers that women are objects that can be made submissive through sex, she writes. The columnist says condom ads can be delivered in a more culturally sensitive way “that works in a conservative, fiercely patriarchal society where education and awareness about sex is abysmal.”

Currently, an estimated 27 percent of Pakistan’s 193 million residents have access to birth control. In a society where conversations about family planning are often taboo and fraught with religious undertones, efforts to curb family sizes remain an uphill battle.

9 comments
carvey_sando
carvey_sando

I grew up in a muslim country (Indonesia) and my step mother and sisters are muslim, so I have the utmost respect to those following religion because i have seen the good that the religion can do. However, i must say that most religions are hypocritical. We may hide our desire and urges, but we are merely lying to ourself. Let's face it, everyone in this world, regardless of your gender nor sexual preference wants to have sex. In fact, for a country who sees sex as a taboo, it's ironic that the population density does not reflect their beliefs system (Indonesia is like this too, I'm not discriminating you pakistanis, this is something that is very common in muslim countries). What good is praying if ya'll can't feed your own people? what good is a mosque if ya'll can't build shelters and better living standards for the people? C'mon guys, it's 2013 now, let's strife to make a better world through religion, not a better religion through false and hypocritical global brainwashing


mrbomb13
mrbomb13

Hmmm...a fervently religious country objects to a TV advertisement that depicts favorable attitudes towards birth control.

Should this really come as a surprise to anyone??

sachi_bbsr
sachi_bbsr

I don't see what is wrong about the ad.

What people and governments of India and Pakistan should focus on are the poor kids who have trouble getting good nutritional food and the kids who have to beg and work.

Why are people's priorities so misplaced?? What is wrong about adults having sex?



uzair
uzair

why are most western news papers so  biased towards Pakistan?  why don't u publish the news about our first sect - mosque where anyone  can pray together 

billynomates
billynomates

Why not make birth control free, or heavily subsidised, and available on demand from pharmacists and medical practices?


Waseem
Waseem

Agreed with pemra decision to ban commercial.

cjh2nd
cjh2nd

@Waseem  

so what's it like living in the stone age? seriously, why are you all so scared of women being treated fairly and being able to do what they want?  

truthteat
truthteat

@cjh2nd @Waseem morality is being in the stone age? i think not having morality is closer to being in the stone age. Personally I think they could have done it tastefully as Pakistan needs population control but this pandering to base instincts to sell some condoms to turn a quick profit has hurt that cause which is the real loser.

bloodspore69
bloodspore69

@cjh2nd @Waseem Muslims didn't exist in the stone age. And people then didn't have such a comprehensive system (Islam) which they could follow. This system btw does teach equality, however, it recognizes that women and men should have different responsibilities.