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Yeh To Bada Toing Hai!

August 28, 2008

It seems the I & B ministry doesn’t like chocolate. Specifically it doesn’t like women nibbling the posterior of a chocolate covered man. The new ‘Dark Temptations’ Axe deodorant ad has been recently banned by the ministry for being  indecent, vulgar and suggestive and thus violating Rule 7 (8) of the Advertising Code prescribed under the Cable Television Act, which says, ” Indecent, vulgar, suggestive, repulsive or offensive themes or  treatment shall be avoided in all advertisements.”

Personally I can take chocolate or leave it….

“Indecent”, “vulgar”, “repulsive” and “offensive” I understand as ideas, at least notionally. It’s the “suggestive” I don’t get.

Incidentally, the Lux Cozy and Amul Macho ads were also banned last year for “suggesting” things the ministry would rather we not. Lux Cozy has a woman glancing, with evident delight, at a crotch suitably encased in Lux Cozy, and the Amul Macho ad I am posting here for your edification, because it is really too delightful to miss…

Am I the only one, or is everyone left feeling a little bemused as to what exactly invited the ministry’s ire? No nudity, no girl-boy-heavy-petting, no nothing. Ah but you see! It may not be “indecent” or “vulgar” but you would have to admit it is “suggestive”. (Of what? I could tell you, but that would be “suggesting”.)

Now “suggestive” is a wonderful phrase. And it appears in all sorts of contexts, such as “suggestive dancing”, or “suggestive innuendo”. True to Saussurian linguistics “suggestive” makes no sense by itself. You have to read it with the rest of the sentence. (Like “homely” or “no issue” in matrimonial classifieds).

It seems anything that “suggests” that woman might exercise sexual agency (fantasizing, biting bottoms, looking at crotches, and even agreeing to have sex (see the VIP Frenchie Ad), in which men might become the objects of women’s desiring gaze, and, heaven forbid! they might actually act out this desire, is much too dangerous to be allowed onto our television screens.

I, for one, am all for it. All I ask is that the advertising code be consistently applied.

Therefore I most humbly request that the idea mobile phone ad starring Abhishek Bacchan in his unforgettable role as missionary educator of the masses be immediately banned in contravention of provision 7(5) of the advertising code:  ” No advertisement shall contain references which are likely to lead the public to infer that the product advertised or any of its ingredients has some special or miraculous or super-natural property or quality, which is difficult of [sic] being proved.”

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Praada permalink
    August 29, 2008 5:28 AM

    Leave the display of super natural quality alone, a iPhone ad has been banned in UK for misleading the viewers that it can show all web pages on internet.
    Maybe the I&B needs some more time to grow up.

  2. Shuddhabrata Sengupta permalink
    August 29, 2008 7:42 PM

    Dear Aarti,

    thank you for alerting me and all of us on Kafla to this wonderful little mini film in the form of an ad. Maybe the I&B ministry has something against the washing of underwear. I say this because the male habit of ‘adjusting’ the clothing that covers their private parts, which is a truly ‘national’ trait in our otherwise oh so woefully divided nation is directly attributable to the prolonged usage of unwashed underwear. Now, if underwear is to be washed (either by men, or lovingly by women for men, engendering reciprocity by having men washing underwear lovingly for women) then this remarkable symbol of national unity – the scratched groin of the great indian male, will disappear from public view. Surely, in such divisive times, we cannot let such things come to pass.

    regards

    Shuddha

  3. September 17, 2008 4:50 PM

    The child seldom thinks vulgar. He cannot be corrupted.

    The middle-aged find sex and vulgarity in most prsentations/things because they do not get it elsewhere for themselves.

    Offer enough real life sex to middle-aged men and women, and they will cease to be obsessed and censorious about imaginary vulgarity.

  4. September 21, 2008 12:07 AM

    Hi Aarti,
    There is a view that censorship is authoritarian and that it reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself.
    Nice post.
    Cheers,
    Salil

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  1. Global Voices Online » India: On Suggestiveness

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