2001-04-18 22:30:28 (UTC)

For interest of those in..

For interest of those in foreign film, such as myself...
Contest to Promote Kissing in Commercials
Updated: Mon, Apr 16 08:52 AM EDT

BOMBAY (Reuters) - "No kissing please, we're Indian"
applies equally to Indian films, advertising and public
Now a wacky contest is seeking to turn that cliche on its

The Brief, an advertising and media publication belonging
to the Bombay-based Mid-Day Multimedia stable, has
announced a contest for advertising agencies to persuade
the government "that kissing is fine in advertising."

"To take part in this contest, do an ad for a well-known
product. Kissing," the publication said.

"Kissing is the most basic thing," Anil Thakraney, the
Brief editor told Reuters.

Twelve entries will be shortlisted for the final to be held
in Bombay next Thursday.

For decades, censors ensured that kissing was camouflaged
in Indian cinema with a pair of cooing doves, swaying roses
or couples ducking under umbrellas.

The ad industry was not spared either with a strict though
unwritten code of what was obscene which led to several
clashes between the industry and the government.

The most recent casualty was an ad for "Close Up," a
leading toothpaste brand. The commercial showed a man in a
clinch with a curvy policewoman who had led him to a firing

The steamy kiss was only hinted at but it was enough to
provoke India's minister of information and broadcasting
Sushma Swaraj. She declared the commercial was against
Indian culture and the ad was withdrawn from state-run
television channels.

"I really mean business. We're going to send every single
entry to Sushma Swaraj so she can see how the advertising
industry feels," said Thakraney, saying the industry was
dismayed at the fate of the Close Up ad.