The Information & Broadcasting Ministry has flayed the Axe Dark Temptation Deodorant TVC, currently being telecast on several channels, as indecent, vulgar and repulsive. The Ministry has requested the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) to advise its member channels not to telecast the ad or any such advertisement with indecent, vulgar or suggestive theme to avoid any punitive action in future.
The ad shows a man turn into chocolate after spraying the Axe Dark Temptation deodorant. Women flock to get a bite of the ‘chocolate boy’, while the tagline says ‘As irresistible as chocolate’. The ad, which has been appearing in both print and on various TV channels for the past few weeks, does not seem to have drawn objections from any women’s group so far.
The I&B Ministry has also requested the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) to provide details of complaints received and action taken by the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC), if any, against the Axe Dark Temptation ad. In case no such formal complaint has been received, the Ministry letter itself is to be treated as one and appropriate action may be initiated. As an interim measure, ASCI has been requested to advise the advertisers to refrain from airing the said advertisement pending decision of the CCC.
A copy of the complaint has also been forwarded to the secretary general of the IBF, asking them to advise broadcasters to air the advertisement only after precautionary measures have been taken to avoid some objectionable portions.
It may be recalled that last year, the Ministry had directed all channels to ban advertisements of Lux Cozy, Gen-X and Amul Macho undergarments. In some cases, objections of the Ministry might be considered more valid as a couple of advertisements may not have been fit for family viewing. The ads were revoked because they were considered “indecent, vulgar and suggestive” and violated Rule 7(8) of the Advertising Code prescribed in the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995.