PEMRA lifts ban from contraceptives ad

WEB DESK: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority had imposed a ban on contraceptives ads last week. Reconsidering its decision, PEMRA has lifted the ban from contraceptives ad in light of the fact that birth control is a National issue.

PEMRA has been issuing notices and banning all the content which it found to be offensive or inappropriate in regard of our social norms and announced new set of guidelines for all the channels.

The reason for issuing notice and banning contraceptive ad was that parents have shown deep concerns over marketing campaigns regarding family planning and that these should not be aired during primetime (till 11pm) because that’s when children are watching television.

However, in larger interest of the public and following a national debate on the banning of contraceptive ads that centered on it being a regressive move, PEMRA referred its decision to the board for vetting and eventually decided to withdraw the ban.

The revised notification that was issued this Saturday states, “PEMRA acknowledges that its recent decision to put a blanket ban on the advertisements of contraceptives has raised social, medical and population control concerns by civil society and many others.”

PEMRA also stated that it had not only been receiving complaints from the general public but also from state institutions and, hence, it needs to take them into consideration.

“PEMRA keeps receiving complaints from general public and state institutions on violations of code of conduct and other issues. According to law, if complaints have a merit, PEMRA is bound to follow a process and reach a decision, which, due to this divide in our society, generates public opinion in favour or against the decision.”

It is not the first time that PEMRA has been taking measures over prohibiting immoral content.

Last year, the media regulatory body objected to a contraceptive ad featuring Mathira, deeming it immoral and contrary to religious values but this time PEMRA wants to address the issue within cultural standards.

“There has to be a middle way because creating awareness of family planning is essential, but such advertisements cannot go beyond certain limits,” an official added.

The next meeting regarding this issue will be scheduled next month.