Racy ads? No please, we are Indians

As Sunny Leone’s latest ad for Manforce condoms faces flak in Gujarat, we list five other ads that were banned for being too racy years ago

e4m by Ronald Menezes
Updated: Sep 21, 2017 8:31 AM

Over the years of advertising evolution, commercials and controversies have often gone hand in hand. Especially in India where moral policing is always on an all-time high, advertisements that are too explicit or evoke a certain sense of sexuality often face the axe. 

Sunny Leone’s latest condom ad for Manforce is the latest victim. With this ad, the brand tried to piggy back on the ongoing Navratri festivities. 

Now, the people of Gujarat have reportedly taken offence to the hoarding that portrays Sunny Leone seductively holding dandiya sticks, as the ad reads reads: “Aa Navratriye ramo, paraantu prem thi” (Play, but with love, this Navratri)

However, Sunny Leone’s ad for Manforce is not the only commercial to have offended the moral police in India. Over the decades many such ads have been strongly protested against while others have even been forcefully been pulled down. 

We take a look at 5 ads that created quite a stir in the past:

Amul Macho (2007)

The Amul Macho ‘yeh toh bada toing hai’ raised several eyebrows for its “crafted for fantasies” ad where a woman is seen washing an underwear at a pond. The woman further drifts into her fantasies as the ad progresses and other women look on. The ad was considered offensive by creating a sense of sexuality among women in India and in return portraying them in the wrong sense. The ad was eventually banned.

Manforce condoms (2014)

An ad that involves Sunny Leone, again! The commercial portrayed Sunny seductively in a vineyard reaching out for black grapes. Back then the ad was banned as CPI leader Atul Anjan and Ex-DCW chief Barkha Singh called it “shabby, ugly, immoral”

Zatak Deodorant (2011)

The ad shows a newly-wed bride waiting for her husband on her “Suhaag Raat” but is wildly tempted to the fragrance of a guy who is spraying Set Wet Zatak on himself. This idea of women lusting over other men did not go down well with the Advertising Council of India and it directed the ads either be modified or taken off air.

Tuff Footwear (1995)

Back in 1995 when Milind Soman was one of the most sought after male models, this ad for Tuff Shoes made news for all the wrong reasons. In a photoshoot, Milind and Madhu Sapre were wearing only a pair of Tuff shoes and a python that ‘covered’ their bodies. Needless to say, the ad was banned by the High Court and the models were booked for indecency. A case was also filed against the ad under the Wildlife Protection Act for illegal use of a Python and also cruelty against animals.

Calida (1998)

The once upon a time couple, Bipasha Basu and Dino Morea modelled for a Switzerland based inner wear company Calida. Dino was seen playfully pulling Bipasha’s underwear in the ad and after several women’s organisations raised voices against it, the ad was pulled down.

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