Pemra bans 'immoral' condom advertisement

Published: September 15, 2015
A screengrab of the advertisement

A screengrab of the advertisement

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) banned on Monday an advertisement by a condom brand, calling it “immoral” and contrary to religious norms after receiving a deluge of complaints from the public.

Pakistan is notoriously strait-laced when it comes to matters of sex and family planning is considered a taboo topic by many.

The condom company, Josh, was previously slapped with a ban two years ago after airing a humourous but risque advertisement featuring a leading model.

Read: PEMRA bars TV channels from airing contraceptive ad

The advertisment features a large man approaching a roadside stall to ask for a small pack of condoms. He is followed by a second man, who grins widely as he requests a larger pack, all the while making a gesture with his hands that can be interpreted as lewd.

The entire street then breaks out in song and “bhangra” dance in celebration.

Fakharuddin Mughal, a spokesman for the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, said the agency had received “scores of complaints against the telecast of an objectionable and indecent advertisement of contraceptive”.

“Pemra, in its directive has pointed out that the advertisement is generally being perceived as indecent, immoral and in sheer disregard to our socio-cultural and religious norms,” he added.

Read: Thanks for nothing Mathira and Josh condoms

Discussing contraception in public is taboo in Pakistan, though some experts warn the population is growing too fast for the country’s natural resources to support.

According to the United Nations a third of Pakistanis have no access to birth control even though its population is growing by more than two per cent a year.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Sher Khan
    Sep 15, 2015 - 6:23PM

    In the United States, they don’t show condom commercials on television. The reason is because there is no need as almost everyone in that country knows what condoms are. In Pakistan, sex education should be how knowledge about condoms is spread, not trough commercials on television. Things must be handled in appropriate manner. Ulema must do their part as well. Recommend

  • UK
    Sep 15, 2015 - 10:57PM

    And they believe that by enlightening people with the knowledge of contraception, they will be able to protect the population boom?? Wrong! As Pakistani it is my duty to let you know that we enjoy doing what we are stopped to do. Its who we are and it is not changing anytime soon. Good Luck!Recommend

  • Sara
    Sep 16, 2015 - 1:38AM

    @UK And what are you supposed to do? The reason for your life is not just to populate but be meaningful towards life.Recommend

  • Enlightened
    Sep 16, 2015 - 6:54AM

    If contraception is “immoral”, then the act itself should be declared “Un-Islamic”.Recommend

  • Majid
    Sep 16, 2015 - 8:05AM

    Pakistan’s population is expected to hit 300 million within a few decades. Because of this per capita income will likely remain stagnant in real terms. Pakistanis, of course, love to hear about the huge population. It is a matter of pride to them.

    @Sher Khan:

    Ulema must do their part as well.

    Ulema are of the opinion that using contraceptives is equivalent to killing a child. They are completely against it.Recommend

  • Another Indian
    Sep 17, 2015 - 3:22AM

    Isn’t contraception against the rules of the religion? Condoms should be banned in Pakistan like in Saudi Arabia.Recommend

  • F Khan
    Nov 30, 2015 - 11:47AM

    If all it takes for Pemra to act is a deluge of letters and criticisms, then we should all send in letters criticizing them for allowing the local channels for keeping “tainted” anchors on staff and then allowing them air time. After all, despite being exposed and shamed for the interview of the Bahria Group Chief Executive, both Anchors still get air time. Where is Pemra’s moral and ethics in all this? or are they only bothered when it comes to ads featuring condoms? Just goes to show where their brains are. Recommend

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