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January 2018

CONDOM ADS: 10PM TO 6 AM ONLY

On 11 Dec, the MIB issued an advisory restricting condom ads on TV only after 10 pm and before 6 am.

"All TV channels are hereby advised not to telecast advertisements of condoms which are for a particular age group and could be indecent/inappropriate for viewing by children. Therefore, such advertisements may be telecast between 10 pm and 6 am to avoid exposure of such material to children and to ensure strict adherence to the provisions contained in the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994," the Ministry said in its advisory, adding, "any failure will attract action as per provisions of the Rules." The advisory cited various sections of the Cable TV Network Rules, 1994, relating to adverse content for children.




CHALLENGED IN COURT

An NGO challenged the order in the Rajasthan High Court. The NGO alleged a "hypocritical approach" by the government, one hand promoting family planning and awareness about AIDS and STD, but on the other, it is obstructing condom advertisements that are crucial for family planning, reducing abortion deaths and awareness about HIVAIDS and STD (sexually transmitted diseases). The plea added that kids & adolescents must also know about safe sex and must be given sex education. "There is not an iota of reason as to how an advertisement for condom is an unhealthy practice," it noted.

A bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice D C Somani issued notice to the central government, seeking to know the reasons behind its decision.


GOVT RETRACTS

In a clarification dated 21 December 2017, the MIB said "advertisements that do not sexually objectify women and are aimed at informing citizens regarding devices/products/medical interventions to ensure safe sex are not covered under the said advisory." n