New Delhi: Soon airing of advertisements for condoms may only be allowed during watershed hours (between 10 pm and 6 am) on television after the Advertising Standards Council of India — the apex self-regulating body of advertising sector — received several complaints regarding a steamy condom commercial featuring actor Sunny Leone.
After receiving a slew of complaints against the commercial, the ASCI, in a letter to the Union information and broadcasting ministry, stated that “we suggest that the ministry advise all television channels to ensure that the condom advertisements are aired during the watershed hours — between 10 pm and 6 am — as these advertisements are meant to be seen only by adults.”
Interestingly, the ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) reviewed the complaints regarding the TV commercial at the instance of Maharashtra State Commission for Women, sources stated.
Explaining the process, ASCI secretary-general Shweta Purandare stated that as a self-regulatory body the ASCI can not issue a directive to private companies. “The ASCI seeks the advise of the Union I&B ministry in this regard,” she added.
It is understood that the ASCI has sought the advice of I&B ministry on the issue of adult content in such commercials being broadcast on television during non-watershed hours.
The CCC further recommended that for the objects regarding the viewing hours of the above TVC or for channels that it should be aired on, the complainant should be asked to approach the I&B ministry as this matter is not in ASCI’s purview, sources added.
“To ensure that advertisements are not offensive to the generally accepted standards of decency Advertisements should contain nothing indecent, vulgar (especially in the depiction of women), or nothing repulsive which is likely, in the generally prevailing standards of decency and propriety, to cause grave and widespread offence,” says norms for advertisement, Chapter II: Non-Offensive to the Public....