The government of India on Tuesday prohibited television channels from airing advertisements for condoms any time in the day till 10 pm, since some of the commercials were “indecent and can impact children”, in a move that has evoked strong reactions from companies and advertisers.
In an advisory issued on Monday, India’s Information and Broadcasting Ministry asked all TV channels in the country not to air condom advertisements between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. local time to avoid exposure of such material to children.
“It has been brought to the notice of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting that some channels carry advertisements of condoms repeatedly which are alleged to be indecent especially for children.
“In view of the above, all TV channels are hereby advised not to telecast the advertisements of condoms which are for a particular age group and could be indecent/ inappropriate for viewing by children,” the ministry said.
The ministry, while adding that the condom advertisements should only be aired late night till early morning, cautioned all TV channels to ensure strict adherence to the provisions of Cable Television Networks Rules.
The ministry has also warned of action against any TV channel found flouting its order, which comes in the wake of a plea by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) earlier this month to decide the telecast timing of such advertisements.
“The ministry has taken a call on our request. ASCI had received several complaints on the content of condom advertisments… (which) were explicit for children.”
The move, it said, was “to avoid exposure of such material to children and to ensure strict adherence to the provisions”.
“Any failure will attract action.”
“The main issue was with the timing of the advertisements,” Shweta Purandare, secretary general of ASCI, told the media.