New Delhi: The government on Monday issued an advisory asking TV channels not to air condom advertisements which could be “indecent and inappropriate for viewing by children” during the daytime.
In the advisory, the Smriti Irani-headed information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry said that condom ads should only be aired between 10pm and 6am to avoid exposure of such material to children and to ensure “strict adherence to the provisions contained in the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994”.
“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 I&B ministry advisory said.
The ministry cited rules 7(7) and 7(8) of the Cable Television Networks Rules that state that “no advertisement which endangers the safety of children or creates in them any interest in unhealthy practices or shows them begging or in an undignified or indecent manner shall be carried in the cable service” and “indecent, vulgar, suggestive, repulsive or offensive themes or treatment shall be avoided in all advertisements”.
This comes after the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) had requested the I&B ministry earlier this month to take a call on such ads and their telecast timing.
“The ministry has taken a call on our request. ASCI had received several complaints on the content of condom ads. Our consumer complaints council, on examining, found that such ads are meant for adults and were explicit for children. The main issue was with the timing of the advertisements,” said Shweta Purandare, secretary general, ASCI.
Established in 1985, ASCI is a self-regulatory body which was formed to ensure protection of consumers’ interests.