Kyunki Commercial bhi kabhi Controversial tha: I&B ministry’s Axe on Deodorant Ads

by Ashish on June 3, 2011

Nowadays the Idiot box at our home is serving is what we call as the GenNext content. But still for many years the question whether Television shows what we like to watch or we modify our taste buds as per the content shown is still looking for a well defined and balanced answer.

In the era of “Beep” and “Uncut” version it shouldn’t surprise you if you hear a Beep sound 100 times in a one hour episode of a reality show. In case of movies and feature films which transit through censor board categorization not allowing everyone to watch everything but when it comes to advertising and TV serial there seems no one to draw a line.


With recent orders by Information and Broadcasting ministry to certain brands to take their commercials off air has come as an alarm to TV and Advertisement industry. Ministry has notified ASCI (Advertising Standards Council of India) for seven ads which are considered visually obscene and seems to hamper the Indian culture. But the irony is that even ASCI get a chance to watch these films once they are on air. Though the Ads have a creative angle we can’t deny the raunchy feel which somewhere spoils the mind of audience specially youngsters.

Even the bigwigs of Advertising fraternity like Prahlad kakkar and Bharat Bala are supporting the ministry’s steps. They think that certain brands are going way ahead and making commercial which is inappropriate on moral grounds specially the one where a married gal drops her Manglasutra.

Manoj Shroff who heads Equinox films which boasts of making some of the most successful commercials in Indian Advertising history like “Hamara Bajaj” and “HappyDent” says “If they are obscene they must be taken off especially since TV is an open medium and children cannot be controlled from watching it. What and how much is obscene is however always debatable”.

Most of the people use deodorant to fight the bad odour and not to seduce a gal, with a least expectation that gals around will chase or jump on them. But that’s what a commercial of Axe shows which even resulted into Unilever paying millions of dollar to a guy who sued the brand in court for false depiction and promise. He claimed that he used the deodorant for seven years but not even a single gal came closer to him.

Though time has changed and the content has evolved many folds in last few years but showing women as the object of desire seems unethical and unfit specially in Indian culture. It’s not about moral policing but we need to understand that what works in west might not go well with Indian audience. ASCI needs to be more careful in near future and upgrade its guidelines when it comes to commercial targeting Indian audience.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Diksha 06.10.11 at 11:55 pm

Hahaha..nice title..n rite they shouldn’t portray women as the object of desire

Shreyas 06.10.11 at 11:56 pm

Yes ASCI should keep a watch on it or else anyone will make anything

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