Might it be easier for Indians to boldly ask for a ten-pack of condoms if the cover flaunted a demure lady with knitting needles? We think not, since that would merely be pulling the wool over coy eyes. The Supreme Court has come to the rescue of condom manufacturers by setting the right mood for ‘customer friendly’ marketing, by staying a Madras High Court order, which had banned the depiction of raunchy pictures on condom packs and in advertisements terming them ‘indecent’ and ‘obscene’.
The HC claimed to be defending the virtues of the ‘Indian ethos’ that continues to shy away from all matters sexual. Condoms for family planning and to protect against HIV/Aids, yes, but heaven forbid, if you try to have any fun while you’re at it. The original petition and the HC’s censure echoed the horrified gasp that followed the steamy Kama Sutra ad of the 1990s, or the more recent rebuke leading to the axing of an Axe deodorant ad. Now, we ask you, is the hapless manufacturer sup-posed to take all this morality lying down and depict a couple sitting at a comfortable arm’s length watching sitcom re-runs?
No, for what can sell his products better than a couple having a roll in the hay? He has to tell it like it is. And this is the story of what goes on between the sheaths, sorry, sheets. Well, he no longer has to run for cover.