Entertainment History 

18 Banned TV Commercials And Print Ads That Stirred A Lot of Controversies In India

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The advertising industry in India has evolved a lot in the past two decades.  Ad agencies used creative approaches to create something unique and attractive to sell the products. However, some commercials did not go well with the Indian authorities.  Do you want to know more about banned commercials in India? Though these commercials were banned, most of them are available on YouTube to watch.

1.  Amul Macho TV Commercial (2007)

“Ye To Bada Toing Hai” television commercial by Amul is one of the most controversial ads in Indian television history. The commercial explores the sensuality of a woman while she is washing the undergarments of her husband. Featuring Sana Khan, the commercial stirred a lot of controversies. The ad is considered one of the most vulgar and sexually explicit ads. The Advertising council banned the ad for obvious reasons. The commercial was able to increase the market share of the company sharply with a turnover of Rs. 201 crores in 2007-2008 even when it was banned.

banned commercials in India

2. AC Black Whisky TV Commercial (2002)

While this was a commercial meant to promote AC black whiskey, the commercial shows a man drinking AC black apple juice. As he takes a sip of juice, he looks for a beautiful woman in the room. With every sip of the drink, the neckline of the woman’s dress keeps lowering.  Finally, when he drinks the climax sip, his shirt unbuttons. It is revealed that woman was also playing the same game. In the end, the commercial claims “Kuch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai” when you drink AC black apple juice. The ad has to face major backlash resulting in the ban.

banned commercials in India

3.Tuff Shoe Print Ad (1995)

Milind Soman and his then-girlfriend Madhu Sapre went complete nude for one of the most controversial print ads ever. It was a print ad for Tuff Show so they were just wearing shoes in the ad. A python is trying to cover up the two nude bodies. After they posed nude, Mumbai police registered a case against the models and advertising agency. The Print ad attracted a lot of controversies and another case was filed under the Wildlife Protection Act for illegal use of python. After a case that ran for 14 years, the court acquitted the accused.

banned commercials in India

4. Axe Chocolate Man TV Commercial (2008)

In the ad, You can see a man who applied Axe Dark Temptation deodorant on his body and turns into a chocolate man. The print ad is based on the concept that a man who uses Axe deo is as irresistible as chocolate for women. The chocolate man is roaming around the city and women are biting the parts of his body just like chocolate. On various complaints of the viewers, Indian authorities banned the commercial.

banned commercials in India

5. New York Lotto TV Commercial (1999)

Before starting her Bollywood career with 2001 thriller film Ajnabee, Bipasha Basu appeared in New York Lotto TV advertisement. Bipasha Basu went topless for the commercial, creating a lot of buzz. You can also spot Vivek Oberoi in the same commercial which was never telecasted. Read more about Bollywood actors who appeared in commercials before they became famous.

banned commercials in India

6. Calida Print Ad (1998)

In 1998, Bipasha Basu and her then boyfriend Dino Marea did the modelling for Calida, a Women’s underwear and sleepwear brand. In the Ad,  Dino Morea is pulling Bipasha Basu’s underwear with his teeth. The commercial was controversial because of its erotic nature. Bipasha Basu faced various protests for appearing in the print ad. Before the commercial was banned, it received a lot of flak from women organisations.

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banned print ads in india

7. Kamasutra Condoms TV Commercial (1991)

The Kamasutra Condom TV ad was produced in the times when condom ads were meant to showcase the safety and protection. However, The commercial featuring Pooja Bedi and Marc Robinson broke the norms and became too hot.  In the ad, Pooja Bedi is taking a seductive shower that attracts Marc Robinson. Authorities could not digest the Steamy and sexy commercial and banned it from the transmission. The early 90’s commercial changed the way people thought about condoms.

banned tv commercials in india

8. Fastrack TV Commercial (2011)

In 2011, Fasttrack launched a promotional campaign for its products and hired Virat Kohli and Genelia Dsouza.  Both appeared in a series of Fastrack TV commercials which were mostly romantic. The one TV commercial which faced the wrath of the authorities was a commercial set in an aeroplane. Virat Kohli is the pilot of the plane and Genelia Dsouza is the hot and beautiful air hostess. Genelia seduces Virat and they start making love in the cockpit while the plane is still mid-air. Many aviation companies objected to the commercial.

banned TVC in india

9. Lux Cozy TV Commercial (2007)

Authorities banned One of the TV commercials from its promotional campaign “Apna Luck Pehen Ke Chalo “.  In the ad, a man is standing near a swimming pool wearing just one underwear wrapped by a towel. A dog snatches the towel off the man, and the man starts chasing the dog in his underwear. While he gets hold of the dog, A pretty lady who is the owner of the dog comes. She looks the man who is still in underwear with lust.  As you expect the information and broadcasting ministry banned the commercial because it was vulgar, suggestive and indecent.

banned tv commercials in india

10. Motorola TV Commercial (2008)

Motorola C550 TV commercial was an ad that never made it to television screens. Though the commercial was brilliant, it encourages people to become a pervert in public. The commercial suggests using the Motorola phone camera which can capture the photos instantly. The authorities banned the commercial from airing in India.

banned commercials in india

11. VIP Frenchie x Underwear (2008)

In the ad, A young couple is enjoying a trekking expedition, a fun campfire, some playful games in the bedroom. The girl gets excited when the boy walks out in his underwear from the bathroom. She closes the door, the couple comes together and then the obvious happens. The commercial ends with VIP X logo appearing on screen. It was just another attempt to sell the product using sex. As expected the commercial could see the light of the day.

banned tvc in india

12. Wild Stone Deodorant TV Commercial (2007)

Another instance of using sex to create a promotional campaign. The commercial is set during the Bengals’ Durga Puja festival.  A man who has used Wild Stone deodorant bumps into a beautiful Bengali lady. The lady gets aroused and the next scene shows them making them love in the bedroom. The commercial ends with the brand’s tagline “Wild By Nature”. Although the commercial was not completely banned, Authorities censored the commercial. The uncensored version of the ad is available on YouTube, try your luck if you can find it.

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banned tv commercials in india

13. Virgin Mobile Banned TV Commercials – IPL

Virgin Mobile created a series of TV commercial during the Indian Premier League. In the ad, Two people from different cities talk to each other and share jokes about cricket. The commercial used a lot of vulgar language in the conversation. Authorities banned the commercial for using an excess of offensive language in the commercial. The complete series of banned Virgin Mobile Banned TV Commercials is available on YouTube.

banned commercials in india

14. Zatak Deo TV Commercial (2010)

Bride TVC was another controversial commercial.  The ad is about the wedding night of a bride. While she is waiting in her bedroom in bridal clothes, she smells Zatak Deodorant from neighbour’s house across the window. She gets turned on and comes near the windows where she finds a handsome man. As the man looks her, she starts removing her jewellery and finally taking her engagement ring off. The ad ends with the tagline “Just Zatak Her”. Indian authorities censored the naughty and sensual ad.

banned tv commercials in india

15. Ford Figo Print Ad (2013)

Ford Figo print commercial “Leave your worries behind” didn’t go well with many.  In a series of print ads,  A ford Figo car was shown with one person occupying the front seat.  In the backside of the car, three women are gagged and tied with the ropes. Ford Figo and the creative agency behind the campaign later apologized for the offensive ad.

banned print ads in india

16. Mr. Coffee Instant Coffee Print Ad

Though it was a commercial for instant coffee, it had a sex appeal to it. Featuring Arbaaz Khan and Malaika Arora, the ad had a tagline “Real pleasure can’t come in an instant”.  Created at a time when sexual commercials were not prevalent, Mr. Coffee instant coffee ad and its tagline created a quite a controversy. Indian authorities did like the print ad and it had to face consequences. Probably this was the ad where Arbaaz Khan met her future wife Malaika Arora.

banned print ads in india

17. Levis Jeans Print Ad (2001)

This ad was not banned but it created a lot of stir among the viewers and authorities.  Featuring three hot and sexy girls in low waist jeans,  The campaign wanted to promote boldness in women clothing.  the commercial was quite successful as it was able to increase the sale of women’s jeans in India.

banned print ads in india

18. Bisleri TV Commercial

The play safe commercial for Bisleri was banned in India. Featuring a playful couple, the campaign is set on a beach. When the couple come closer, they remember about something missing. Therefore, the man starts searching for it everywhere but could not find. The viewers get a feeling like he is searching for condoms. Then he rushes to a chemist shop and comes back to the beach with a box. When the box is opened, it is revealed that he had bought Bisleri water bottles for safe water. They were actually thirsty and looking for water. Though the commercial was meant to promote safe sex, it did not go well with the authorities.

banned commercials in india

Do you know about any other such banned commercials in India or banned print ads in India, please let us know in the comments section.

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