Pakistan's Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has banned a condom advertisement for excessive vulgarity. They say it is contradictory to the country's conservative outlook.
The commercial, which features Pakistani model and actress Mathira Mohammed, has no actual nudity but remains banned by the regulatory body. This has led to sections of the society objecting to the targeting of a video that has a social message.
The ad itself features Mathira married to a geek. Inquisitive neighbours ask the husband the secret of his wife's happiness, at which point he produces the particular brand of condoms.
Unimpressed, the regulatory body has called the advertisement "indecent, immoral and in sheer disregard to our socio-cultural and religious values". An official statement from the organisation reads: "Airing of such immoral advertisement on Pakistani channels and that too in the holy month of Ramadan warrants serious action."
The actress, however, has rubbished PEMRA's ban, calling it "sad and over-hyped".
"We party hard. We drink. We wear little dresses and do all the things people across the world do when they party. But that's all ignored! And here's a positive effort to do something constructive for a country that needs it, and they ban it!" the 21-year-old told NBC News.
"I did it [the commercial] because Pakistanis need awareness. Sexual education is compulsory for kids all over the world, but not here. They need it to avoid being harassed," she added.
Unfortunately for Mathira, her controversial reputation within Pakistan cannot have helped her case. She rose to fame in her homeland as a television host for a late-night talk show that dealt with sexuality and modernity.
She has received some support though, with some people highlighting the need for promoting contraceptives and birth control in a country with the sixth highest population in the world; data from the World Bank shows a census count (as of 2012) of 179.2 million and a growth rate of 1.7% in the period 2008 to 2012.
Meanwhile, Juan Enrique Garcia, an executive with Josh, the condom manufacturers, says the purpose of the advertisement was to build "demand through mass media and non-traditional communication".
"By emphasizing the quality and 'cool factor' of the product, we can reduce the social stigma of condom use and target all socio-economic groups to promote family planning," he explained.
Check out the video here:
[Video Courtesy: YouTube/DKTHQ]