Advertising Matters

TVCs featuring Indian artists banned by PEMRA

In the wake of tense indo-Pak relations arising from the humanitarian crisis in Kashmir, PEMRA has taken the initiative to ban TV commercials produced in India with Indian artists.

It was announced in a notice/letter issued by PEMRA to all satellite TV channels licensees, all FM Radio licensees and all distribution services licensees.

The notice reads “Whereas, permission for airing Indian channels/content was withdrawn on the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of Pakistan in Human Rights Case No. 22753-S/2018 & C.P No. 4267/2017 dated 27.10.2018 duly conveyed to all PEMRA licensees vide letter dated October 31, 2018. However, it has been observed that advertisements of various products of multinationals which are either produced in India or carrying Indian characters/talent being aired on electronic media.”

PEMRA has banned TVCs featuring Indian artists and Indian content from mainstream media.

The letter further says that while the Government of Pakistan was celebrating Kashmir Solidarity Day on 14th August Independence Day, content with Indian Artists were being aired on media that negated the policy of the government. According to the letter this aggravated the miseries of Pakistanis who were perturbed over Indian atrocities on Kashmiri brethren.

Under Section 27(a) of PEMRA Ordinance 2002 as amended by PEMRA (Amendment) Act 2007, all advertising content featuring Indian Artists were banned with immediate effect.

The brands effected by this include; Dettol Soap, Surf Excel Powder, Panteen Shampoo, Head & Shoulders Shampoo, Lifebouy Shampoo, Fogg Body Spray, Sunsilk Shampoo, Knorr Noodles, Sufi, Fair & Lovely Face Wash and Safeguard Soap. Historically Pakistan has never enjoyed good relations with India. The ban on Indian Artists had been imposed on occasions more than one. Sometimes it’s only the cinema that bears the brunt and sometimes it’s the advertising.

The hostility with the Indians does not seem to end in the foreseeable future. Brands and business who have recently worked or are in the process of working with Indian Artist are going to suffer. We should develop a holistic policy once for all regarding Indian artists and Indian content.