Ouch! Tobacco depiction rules effective today, to extend to print and OOH

14 Nov,2011

By A Correspondent

It’s November 14, 2011, and along with Children’s Day and the celebration of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s birth anniversary, it’s also the day when the health ministry restriction on depiction of tobacco in the media takes shape.

While there’s been much awareness of how the new guidelines will impact the film and television trade, tucked away at the end of the amendment is something that the print media needs to also be careful about.

The relevant ruling states:

“Wherever brand names or logos of tobacco products form a part of the pictures to be printed in any form of print or outdoor media or footage to be aired through any form of electronic media, it shall be mandatory for the media to crop or mask the same to ensure that the brand names and logos of the tobacco products are not visible, except in case of live or deferred live telecast of sports, cultural and other events or activities held in other countries being aired on television in India.”

As per the notificiation, all old movies and TV programmes, that is, produced before November 14 displaying tobacco products or its use shall have to mandatorily display:

a. anti-tobacco health spots or messages of minimum thirty seconds duration each at the beginning and middle of the film or the television programme.

b. anti-tobacco health warning as a prominent scroll at the bottom of the screen during the period of such display.

And such programmes will be telecast at such timings that are likely to have least viewership of minors.

For new films and TV programme, a strong editorial justification for display of tobacco products or their use shall be given to Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC)  along with UA certification, and it will be accompanied by the following:

a. a disclaimer, of minimum twenty seconds duration, by the concerned actor regarding the ill effects of the use of such products, in the beginning and middle of the film or television programme;

b. anti-tobacco health spots or messages, of minimum thirty-second duration each at the beginning and middle of the film or the television programme;

c. anti-tobacco health warning as a prominent scroll at the bottom of the screen during the period of such display:

There will be a representative of Ministry of Healthy and Family Welfare in the Censor Board (CBFC).

In order to restrict display of tobacco brands in old films and TV programmes, these rules  make it mandatory to crop /mask display of brands of cigarettes or any other tobacco product or any forms of product placement, closeups  and for new films and TV programmes  such scenes shall be edited/blurred by the producer prior to screening. The ban on display of tobacco product or its usage also extends to promotional materials and posters as well.

 

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare notification:

http://pib.nic.in/archieve/others/2011/nov/d2011111102.pdf

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