Citing exposure to children as reason, the government, as of Monday has ordered that no condom advertisements will be aired between 6 in the morning to 10 at night anymore. The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued an advisory to all television channels restricting them to show condom ads for those stipulated eight hours.
In its order, the Ministry said, “that some channels carry advertisements of condoms repeatedly which are alleged to be indecent especially for children”. Citing two provisions of the Advertising Code of the Cable Television Network Rules of 1994, the ministry raised the issue about condom ads. They bar any advertisement “which endangers the safety of children or create in them any interest in unhealthy practices or shows them begging or in an undignified or indecent manner”. Also, the code does not allow “indecent, vulgar, suggestive, repulsive or offensive themes or treatment” in ads.
In it's advisory, they stated, “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”. This step came “couple of months” after the Advertising Standards Council of India, which is a self-regulatory body of the advertising industry, had written to the ministry stating that it could not govern the timings for such ads, based on complaints, and the ministry must take a stand on it.
In other instances, the I&B ministry has temporarily banned dozens of channels over the past decade for airing vulgar content, violating the Programme Code the Cable Television Network Rules.