It is said sex sells. This has seen widespread “sexualization” of commercials for virtually everything, from soft drinks to food stuffs and soaps. Pictures of skimpily dressed women are everywhere you look, or so it seems. As the new big thing in Kenya, betting is also growing in popularity fast and betting ads are a usual thing on TV, billboards, and print media. As for condom and beer ads, they have been at the center of controversy for a long time not just in Kenya but all around the world.
The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) is not happy with all this, holding that it is not in tune with family values. In a press release on Tuesday 19, 2016, Ezekiel Mutua, the Chairman of KFCB announced a new set of guidelines for commercials.
According to Mutua, advertisements on condoms, betting, and alcoholic drinks and those with nude photos and sexual innuendos e.g. “Lasts longer than your boyfriend’s” will not be allowed to air during the watershed hours, between 5am and 10pm.
The KFCB has also extended the reach of these regulations to cover billboards with Mutua saying that the KFCB will “go round with Marangi’s paints, mark the offensive billboards X and give the owners 14 days to bring them down before we recommend prosecution.”
And it doesn’t end there still: the posters and small signboards that we often see advertising that Dr. Kiboko Yao from Tanzania will help you regain your lost love, money, or even win SportPesa may also be a thing of the past. “If you’re going to put it there you’re going to come here and prove to us that you can cure the lovesick. We cannot condone false advertising no matter the form it comes in,” Mutua said.
This comes barely a week after Ezekiel Mutua banned a Coca-Cola ad for having a kissing scene, prompting harsh criticism on social media and a bunch of “names” for Mutua and the KFCB, not to mention a back and forth confrontation with Larry Madowo who criticized Mutua for having a “village mentality”.
In a nutshell, you will no longer see condom, betting, alcoholic drinks, and sexually suggestive ads if you retire to bed earlier than 10pm, and days of cleaner electricity poles may just be around the corner, of course assuming that college and weekend events ads don’t choke the released space.