Condom ads without sexually explicit content allowed at all hours, clarifies I&B Ministry

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The Information and Broadcasting Ministry on Thursday clarified that advertisements of condoms that are not sexually explicit and do not objectify women can continue to be aired on television at all hours.

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"Advertisements that do not sexually objectify women can continue to play beyond curfew hours," the I&B Ministry said, a day after the Rajasthan High Court issued notices to it and the Health Ministry regarding the December 11 order, which prohibited condom advertisements between 6 am and 10 pm.

"It is clarified that the said advisory only pertains to sexually explicit content being used to market certain condom brands which titillate the audience from a PR perspective. 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," the I&B Ministry memorandum said, reports Indian Express.

The ministry said that advertisements that aim to inform citizens about methods of safe sex, without objectifying women, are not banned.

On Wednesday,the Rajasthan High Court had issued a notice to the I&B ministry, the principal secretary to the central government and the Union health secretary asking why can't condom commercials be telecast outside the currently affixed hours between 10 pm to 6 am. The high court had also sought a reply on the same in eight weeks.

In its December 11 order, the ministry had cited the Cable Network Television Rules, 1994, and said the decision was based on complaints made by viewers. In the new order, it cited another rule that prohibits women from being "portrayed in a manner that emphasises passive, submissive qualities and encourages them to play a subordinate secondary role in family and society".

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