On TV: Steamy ads under the banner scanner!

By Hindustan Times

First, they axed an erotic Axe deo commercial, and now, they’ve pulled the pants off an underwear ad that shows men covering their you-know-whats with roosters. And, looks like more is to come. After a push from the Information and Broadcasting ministry (I&B), the Advertising
Standards Council of India has cracked down on sexually suggestive TV ads that are aired during primetime — the latest being an ad of Euro Fashion Underwear that shows three nude men each holding a rooster to cover their private parts, with the tagline: “What’s your size?” “The ad has been discontinued after an action from the Consumer Complain Council of India,” says Allan Collaco, secretary general, ASCI.

Other controversial commercials that are under the scanner include those of the fizz drink Sprite, and Manforce condom. While the Sprite jingle goes, “Isko kaise jhelu main, kaise iski le loon main,” in the condom ad, porn star Sunny Leone is seen is explicit seductive positions. Other ‘adult’ ads that were suspended include those of Amul Macho and Lux Cozy underwear, and of Denver and Wild Stone deos.

I&B minister Ambika Soni has appealed to Parliament to empower the ministry to bring in stricter laws to curb obscene ads, and in the past year, the government has issued 105 notices, and on 85 occasions the ads have been changed or dropped. The government is also considering moving certain advertisements to slots outside family viewing hours.“There are certain ads that cannot be viewed with the family and thus such regulations are vital. We get complaints against such ads regularly. It’s good if the government plans to shift adult ads to a late-night slot,” says Collaco.

Ad person and author Anuja Chauhan, however, says, “ASCI should try to see beyond obvious. The ads with sexy moves are not the only offenders. There are a lot of subtle yet suggestive ads like those for fairness creams. Also, they should do something about YouTube’s special ‘Banned ads’ category first.”

The makers of these ad say they mean no offence. “The Sprite ads celebrate the youth of today ... the ad is merely a creative expression to suggest a playful exchange,” says a Coca-Cola official. The makers of the Euro brief ad remained unavailable for comment.

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