| 5 minutes read

5 minutes read

10 Indian Print And Television Advertisements That Were Banned Due To Huge Controversies

| Published on July 20, 2017

Brands leave no stones unturned to attract the viewers by making catchy taglines and coming up with new ideas. But sometimes they cross the line too far making the ideas bold. Some brands commit such mistakes without even knowing whereas some deliberately push them further to get viral and thus attract the attention of masses.

But these print or television commercials do get a backfire either politically or by some reports done against such bold views. There might be either images or words or concepts that might disturb a huge population which leads to banning of such commercials. An edgy ad is not enough always then!

Let us have a look at few of the Indian commercials and print ads that were too flashy and went too far leading to their banning:

1. Tuff Shoes

This ad was shot long back in 1995. At those times bold ideas were not welcomed well by the society to the extent that happens now. The print ad showcased super models Milind Soman and Madhu Sapre posing nude, wearing nothing but a pair of Tuff shoes and a python wrapped around their body. Immediately it became a matter of controversy nationwide. The ad was banned and the models suffered huge blows for such an act as they were charged for such a behaviour in front of the court. Another case was filed under the Wildlife Protection Act for the illegal use of a python. The legal proceedings went till long nine years before in 2009 they were declared as not guilty.


2. Amul Macho

We all knew this ad that came on our television once and may be made us uncomfortable. The ad featured Sana Khan who was seen as a newly wed Indian girl washing her husband’s clothes and giving some very weird and vulgar sexual expressions. The background score ‘Ye To Bada Toying Hai!’ which made it worse. Immediately it caught the attention of The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the ad was banned!

3. Fastrack

Back in 2011 Fastrack robbed in Cricket star Virat Kohli and Actress Genelia D’Souza for their new series of television commercials. The ads were to showcase the bold attitude of the new line of products launched generally to hit the younger generations of the society. The ad showcased both the stars indulging in a cosy and uncomfortable cockpit romance ignoring the life and safety of passengers. This pilot and the air-hostess love story was not well received by audience and aviation industry soon leading to banning it.

4. Calida

This was way back in 1998. How awkward to witness in those times a print ad where Dino Morea is pulling down Bipasha Basu’s underwear with his teeth? Not something to be forgotten by people and much talked about at least! The photos were banned after various Women Organisations reported and was looked down upon as some private moments that were too much to share for a Switzerland based Underwear company.


5. Ford Figo

How often does a brand need to apologise for their print ad? This is the worst case! “Leave your worries behind with Figo’s extra-large boot,” was the tagline and featured a cartoon showing three women tied in the rear of a vehicle driven by Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian prime minister. Ironically this print ad came when Indian’s women were fighting against sexual violence and abuse. JWT India created the cartoon keeping in mind the recent outrages but it got backfired leading to reports against the brand!


6. Manforce Condoms

The time when Manforce took it too far! Sunny Leone posing in one of her best ways and reaching for black grapes on a beach was not well received by society. The sex appeal in the video was looked down upon! CPI leader Atul Anjan and Ex-DCW chief Barkha Singh called for a ban on it alleging that “such ads increase rapes in the country.”

7. Motorola

You must be surprised to know that this ad never made it to the television. With the tagline ‘Gottchamoto’ this very weird ad showcased some serious social issues that were not well discussed back in 2008.

8. Lux Cozi

They suffered a similar fate like Amul Macho. The video started with a man wearing his towel and chasing a dog while he drops it. At that instant, a woman arrives who gives him a look and thanks him for finding her dog. The ad ends with the brand tagline “Apna Luck Pehen Ke Chalo!”. As usual, the ad was seen as a very shabby and stupid representation of product line. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting banned this ad on grounds of being vulgar.

9. Wild Stone Deo

Wild Stone was not a well-known brand back in 2007 but became famous in the market due to their controversial television ad campaign. The video saw a Bengali woman who meets a man during Durga Puja celebrations and gets turned on due to the video and ends up having sex with him. The ad never got banned but was censored a lot.

10. AC Black Apple Juice

The company specially came up with this ad to feature it between the Cricket World Cup ad breaks. But something else was waiting for them. The ad showcased a man sitting in a bar and enjoying an apple juice while checking out a girl. With each sip, the neckline of the girl went down. This was not well received back in 2007 as the ad was completely taken down and the company suffered financially.

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