7 Controversial NSFW Indian Ads That Caused An Uproar In The Country - Homegrown

7 Controversial NSFW Indian Ads That Caused An Uproar In The Country

India is known to be famous for its censor board which often ready, armed with its scissors to chop off any content that is supposedly considered obscene. While our advertisement industry is pretty vibrant with array of jingles and ads that have been etched in memories of most people across the country, there were some works that made the conservative bunches gasp in horror at the audacity of their makers.

Here are some Indian print advertisements that caused several Indians to raise their eyebrows and shake heads in dismay at their content.

I. Tuff Shoes (1995)

This print Ad for the shoe brand is considered to be one of the most controversial ones that were made by the Indian advertising. It portrays models, Milind Soman and Madhu Sapre, nude and locked in an embrace with a python intricately wrapped around them. Its makers were not only tried for obscenity in the court but also faced a case for illegal use of the animal under the Wildlife Protection Act filed by animal right groups in the country for which they were eventually acquitted.

Homegrown
Homegrown

II. Calida Underwear (1998)

This ad for the Swiss-based underwear brand, featured model- turned-actors, Bipasha Basu and Dino Morea and is supposedly a candid shot where the later is pulling the former’s underwear with his teeth. Its tagline said, ‘You can see why we also remained neutral during the two world wars’;`And you thought your appetite for indulgence could only be whetted by Swiss chocolates’.

After protest from several women’s rights organisations in the country, the ad was banned and taken down with the both the actors that were allegedly dating at the time, claiming that they were unaware of their private moments being on display for the same.

At the edge
At the edge

III. AC Black (2003)

This for the apple juice was mistook by many across the country to one for a liquor brand instead on many occasions. It shows a woman a glass of the apple juice with the tagline suggesting ‘Kuch bhi ho sakta hai’. While the ad would not be given a second glance today, it was considered controversial at that time due to the plunging neckline of the female protagonist and had to be finally taken down due to political pressure.

At the Edge
At the Edge

IV. Kamasutra Condoms (1991)

These were one of the first condom ads made by the Indian advertisement agencies. They both portray famous actor Pooja Bedi in sensual poses with model Mark Robinson. In a culture that is only now opening up to debates about sex and sexuality, the following were considered to be scandalous in nature and caused a huge uproar in public.

At the edge
At the edge
at the edge
at the edge

V. MR Instant Coffee (1993)

This ad for the instant coffee brand features the actors Malaika Arora and Arbaaz Khan in intimate poses with the tagline that claims that ‘Real pleasure can’t come in a instant.’ The ad is said to be influence by the campaign of the condom brand, Kamasutra and recieved a lot of backlash from the conservative public of the country. The hype around the ad caused brands like Amul to make parodies of it.

At the edge
At the edge

VI. Times of India (1991)

This ad was published on 3 November, 1991 in a celebratory supplement of The Times of India. It was created by the Lintas, a known name in the sphere of Indian advertisement. It is a sketch and a close up image of the nether regions of Michelangelo’s infamous sculpture, David and has the words “Contrary to popular belief ads, too, don’t need to be big to be effective. You noticed this one, didn’t you?”, below it. This obvious reference to the size of the sculpture’s groin did managed to offend many causing the newspaper issue a public apology later.

Cutting the Chai
Cutting the Chai

VII. Ford Figo (2013)

The ad was an posted by JWT India, one of the big names of the Indian advertisement industry. It shows three barely clothed woman, bound and clad woman at the back of a Figo with the tagline ‘Leave your worries behind’. What the campaign hoped to be taken as tongue-in-cheek humour turned against them, and the makers ended up reporting their lack of proper review of the same in order to save face on public. The public dissent against the ad was also fuelled by the fact that it was published during a time where there was a national uproar over the need to prevent sexual exploitation of women which ultimately led to the passing of the Anti-Rape Law by the Parliament.

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