To ceo prasar Bharti

Portrayal of Women in Advertisements
21 July, 2004  
The Chief Executive Officer,
Prasar Bharati Board,
P.T.I. Building,
New Delhi.
Subject: Portrayal of Women in Advertisements.
Dear Sir,
This is to express our appreciation at your positive response to our proposals when we met you a few days back. We found that as you had said there are fewer objectionable advertisements on D.D.Channels, as compared to private channels. We believe however that a review is in order of ads of some of the creams and lotions which promote the superiority of fair skin.
In the ad on 'Fair Glow ', for instance, the grandmother expresses her pleasant surprise and satisfaction over the grand daughter becoming so fair in colour due to the use of Fairlglow cream. Why should the fair colour of the girl be unnecessarily glorified just to sell a particular product ? To promote such a concept is not only objectionable on the ground of encouraging colour discriminaton but also for corroborating false notions of beauty based on skin tones. Indian skin tone ranges across various shades of brown and this does not reflect or define any way .
(b) The ad promoting the use of 'condoms' should also be reconsidered particularly the expressions of jubilance and celebration at getting drenched in the rain before buying and the expression of mischief at the time of buying of condoms from the shop in a stealthy manner. The whole thing could have been shown in a natural manner without creating any fuss and without implying any doublemeaning . The undertones at the time of buying and the explicit celebration of joy linked therewith implies in no uncertain terms that now he can do anything on earth to satisfy his physical desires. The same feeling is strengthened by the message of the ad towards the end.
(c) We would also like to point out one particular advertisement on sanitary napkins appearing on many channels. In this ad, two young girls whisper to each other about the problem of one of them having apprehensions regarding menstrual odour reaching others, while sitting in close proximity with the crowd. The solution to this problem is explained, and a green leaf is shown blinking at a particular part of the anatomy of the young girl to create a special effect. We feel that this is absolutely unnecessary . The product could have been endorsed in a subtler manner and without graphic symbols. A very natural phenomena of a women's reproductive cycle (menstrual odour) is being focussed so openly and the camera moving suggestively around a particular part of a girl's body makes it objectionable.
We do hope that some action will soon be taken against these objectionable advertisements.
Thanking you
Yours sincerely,
Media Monitoring Group, AIDWA.