Thanks for nothing Mathira and Josh Condoms

Published: July 24, 2013

Through this ad, Josh Condoms has damaged chances of future advertisements of contraception over the media.

It is estimated that by the year 2050, our population will be 300 million strong. Every day, a whopping 14,000 babies are born. That is 14,000 more mouths to feed, 14,000 more children to educate and 14,000 children that need to be provided for. An average woman in Pakistan has 5 to 6 babies during her lifetime.

It is without a doubt that we need more awareness and easier access to contraceptives.

So for me, when an advertisement that delivers a message relating to birth control airs on TV, it is an occasion of celebration; a development that should be praiseworthy. That was, of course, till I saw Josh Condoms and Mathira’s take on what an ad selling condoms should look like.

Mathira’s latest show stopping performance in a ‘Josh Condom’ ad has made people blush in embarrassment and gawk at the sheer obnoxiousness of the gross, innuendo-laden and completely inappropriate approach to a very important subject.

Playing the part of a trophy wife, Mathira makes the entire neighbourhood jealous as they wonder how a man, evidently her inferior in looks, appeal and charm could secure the love of this supermodel.

The advert continues with coy looks, loaded with explicit meaning and right at the end of the 50-second clip, the lucky husband reveals his secret: Josh Condoms – that is how he managed to secure and ‘tame’ this wife that everybody is so envious of.

I don’t know about you, but the insinuation is crystal clear to me; if you are good in bed using Josh Condoms, any woman can be yours. By using this condom, your wife, will lovingly see you off to work; she will make you ‘thanda’, and will be the perfect companion for you.

The message is that if you use this condom, you can secure a perfect woman — or any woman.

I have seen many TV shows and adverts that reduce women through various means, be it money, good looks, status and so on. However, this advertisement has to be the most lewd description of how one can secure a woman’s affection through sex.

Maybe Mathira thought she was doing a great service to women by perhaps preventing them from enduring the pain and suffering of multiple births, but I wonder if she realises that by agreeing to be part of this ad, she has thrown women a hundred steps back. She has made us look like mere objects that can be controlled by sex. She has, in just 50 seconds, reduced a lifetime of work done by remarkable women like Fouzia Syed and Sharmeen Obaid to empower women, to make them more than just their sex.

Can a woman have more facets to her personality or must she always be attracted to just one thing? A woman is smart enough to consider other things before she ties the knot.

The last straw in this advertisement is that five seconds at the end which proclaims that the condom is now available in strawberry flavour too.

This disgustingly tasteless addition to the ad has no place in a conservative society like our own. The topic of family planning and sex education is taboo in Pakistan and this was a very important subject matter that needed to be handled with delicacy.

This ad just made it dirty.

Josh Condoms, please take a bow - through your low-brow, disrespectful approach to marketing birth control, you have likely permanently damaged what little chance other people had to educate people about family planning through the media.

While I am all for awareness about why contraception is important, this advertisement is by no means the way to do it. This is why when Pakistan Electronic Media Regulation Authority (PEMRA) announced that is has banned the ad, I reluctantly nodded my head in approval – not something you see me do often with regards to PEMRA’s policies.

I agree with the statement that the advertisement was generally “perceived as indecent, immoral and in sheer disregard to our socio-cultural and religious values.”

An advertisement about sex need not sell a woman as an object.

It can be tasteful, educational and can deliver the message in a way that works in a conservative, fiercely patriarchal society where education and awareness about sex is abysmal.

Mathira, maybe it is time to think about Pakistan and not just yourself. Your decision to take part in this farce has done us a grave disservice.

Are you for or against Pemra's decision to ban the Josh Condoms ad?

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Read more by Zahra here or follow her on Twitter @ZahraPeer

Zahra Peer Mohammed

Zahra Peer Mohammed

Former Blogs Desk Head and Senior Sub-Editor at The Express Tribune. She is a business graduate from the Queen's School of Business who tweets @ZahraPeer (twitter.com/ZahraPeer). She blogs at zahrapeer.wordpress.com

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Bina Khan

    What will all this sexual repression achieve? Banning condom ads will stop loadshedding,target killings,extortion?Running to ban condom ads shows the mentality of our government,demonising sex will help no one.Surrendering before the demands of the religious fanatics will only strengthen them and harm Pakistan.Recommend

  • Hina Malik

    Blaming the victim is always easy.Don’t condemn the misogyny present in our society but attack and vilify Mathira.It’s always easy to attack the victim,it’s much more difficult to criticize the oppressors.Recommend

  • http://www.neweconomicorder.blogspot.com Shahid Salim

    Well said. Population control is need of not only the hour but next decade, but this is obnoxious.Recommend

  • Ghausia alam

    Women attacking other women in a patriarchal society.So,what’s new? Misogynists have always had the support of women who’re ashamed of their gender,women who do the dirty work for the misogynists by smearing other women.The religious fanatics in our society can rest easy,they have educated women doing their work for them.Recommend

  • Muhammad Danish

    A smear piece against a condom ad.Islmofascists will be most pleased.Women who’ve internalised misogyny are the best allies the islamofascists could have ever had.Recommend

  • Ali Mustafa

    Bravo Zahra! It’s excatly what I was thinking. Family planing a must but cheap ads on national tv no!Recommend

  • Sumaira

    Yes,Mathira’s the problem,not the religious extremists in control of our government departments.All hate should be directed towards Mathira so as to divert all attention away from the religious fanatics in control of our state’s policies.Recommend

  • MathiraOrBust!

    How else would you have handled the “sensitive” subject? There’s a guy on the Josh facebook page who says he would have used Veena Malik instead!Recommend

  • http://www.twitter.com/Omaidus Omaidus

    There is no doubt that “This ad just made it dirty”. As explained by Bina Shah

    “‏@BinaShah 1h

    It’s a failure on DKF/Josh’s part to not understand the culture in which they are operating. @AishaFSarwari”

    This ad is explicit in nature with a very controversial message that women are mere sex objects. This also does not fit in Pakistani social values. This ad could have been made emphasizing the health aspects instead of promoting sex.Recommend

  • Komal Ali

    I was waiting for someone to write about this approach to the ad. I agree with you hundred percent. This is a very well-written piece and you’ve delievered your arguments extremely efficiently, Recommend

  • shehla

    Another well-intentioned blogs that makes no sense. First Mathira is not a supermodel, she is a TV personality and sex symbol. Not every woman speaks for all women. With regard to thecondoms – so what? The ad is lowbrow -so is EVERYTHING on tv. It offends your sensibilities – everyone is offended by something.this ad is very much like the axe effect ads. A product that males use to excite attract women. Is consensual sex really that offensive?Recommend

  • Mathira

    Don’t want to burst your bubble or anything, but Sharmeen Obaid, the champion of women you so rightly pointed out in the article, is actually AGAINST the PEMRA ban on this ad. Check out her twitter: https://twitter.com/sharmeenochinoyRecommend

  • Hina bajwa

    So instead of condemning the extremists present in our policy making institutions we’re attacking an actress now?Well,she makes a much easier target.Better to keep our anger directed at a woman not ashamed of being a woman than direct it at the men in charge of our government institutions.Recommend

  • sara

    Some people enjoy sex. Some of these people are women. Let’s stop the shaming. Mathira did not produce the product, write the script or direct the ad. All she did waz portray a woman who c enjoys sex with her husband. How is this undoing the work of feminism. Recommend

  • sara again

    Apologists make me sickRecommend

  • Saad Iqbal

    the dilemma of our nation is that educated take sides, dont listen and the create confusion- the blog certainly isnt against contraception ads on media – in fact correctly highlighted by Zahra- it has caused damage to future ads/promotions in favor of birth control. in simple terms the ad positioned itself more on satisfaction than birth control and/or preventing sexually transmitted diseases. a better message couldve been communicated especially considering our values. Recommend

  • shinwari

    Population explosion is the mother of all evil in this country. Instead of producing more hungry mouths, it is important to educate and stop this none sense. Islam is not against population control. It is the illetrate mullahs who are given unnecessary importance in this society and now they are opposing anything and everything to get famous. In KPK, the Shama cinema was showing porn since 1973, and not a single mullah spoke against them. Why ? Because Bilour brothers were powerful……
    There is nothing Islamic in Pakistani society. And by the way, if my relgion is so weak, that it can be changed with a 30 second condom ad, I will never ever follow it.Recommend

  • softncool

    Please note that Mathira is model and model Job is act according to the instruction of Director, so I do not think it is right to criticized her,

    at least she has such boldness to do……….Recommend

  • Furqan

    @Hina Malik:
    She has common sense or not? Doesn’t she know that she should not sign such ad. Men respect women. And can you tell me a solution when a woman doesn’t want to have her share of respect?Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/430/faraz-talat/ Faraz Talat

    There are more aspects to a sexual relation than just preventing disease transmission or conception. If the public cannot be sold on the safety it offers, they have to be given the incentive of added pleasure to help regularize use of contraceptive items.

    I’m not sure if the author has seem many condom advertisements, but this isn’t something out of the ordinary in terms of ‘innuendo’. These ads are not substitutes for sex-ed, and therefore, do not run like university lectures. The aim is to make the product fly off the shelves.

    There is absolutely no reason why any rational person should have to ‘nod’ to PEMRA banning a commercial for contraceptive devices.

    On the contrary, I think the government should be banned from banning things for the next 12 months, just to help shake off its title of “Banistan”.Recommend

  • Sane

    Agree!Recommend

  • Nony

    So being satisfied from sex makes a women an object and something which could be controlled by sex. What about the food and detergent item ads where men being controlled by a wife cooking some delicious chicken biryani or making the dirty cloths look too shiny? Could not agree with this polarized interpretation. I think we should take it easy, however, the contents of ad could have been better. But one must not forget this ad is targeted on a society where Aamir Liaquat grabs too much attention as a religious scholar.Recommend

  • Tao

    “now available in strawberry flavour too”

    Condoms are generally used to avoid pregnency and HIV/AIDS while having sex!!!Recommend

  • Jules

    What a joy to see Pakistan debating about sex, position of women in society and family planning … Thanks Josh Condoms for putting on the table those topics … Here the position of the company. I think it’s important to read it

    http://www.heraldonline.com/2013/07/23/5046225/supermodel-mathira-promotes-family.htmlRecommend

  • Loneliberal PK

    It’s a condom ad, so it is built on the main character’s sexual pleasure (which is often an important concern for most buyers).

    If it were a mobile phone ad, it would’ve been built around Mathira’s satisfaction with the device’s features.

    If it were a refrigerator ad, it would’ve been based on Mathira’s appreciation of the amount of storage space.

    This is not a conspiracy against women by the ad agency. This is our cultural hegemony and state-sponsored prudishness at display for the whole world to laugh at.Recommend

  • http://www.shafiqpenworks.blogspot.com Shafiqpenworks

    Very apt!
    Really liked the article.Recommend

  • http://Sheffield Karchiittee

    After reading this i would suggest that pakistan should legalize sex before marrige and make sex education compulsory in both school and madersah and as for the writer u are missing out on quite a lot of things….. If u know what i mean……..enjoy life before its to lateRecommend

  • http://lamemunosity.wordpress.com/ Fahad Naeem

    Lol. Divorce rate and running of girls are just due to this Condoms and Family 28 stuff. It should be banned from this country. Only destroying the family system of Pakistan. Liberal fanatics just want to spread sex in the country.Recommend

  • BADurrani

    Everyone in this country takes everything way to seriously! It’s just an ad which used crude humour to sell a product… what’s next? Will the animal rights people protest against Hilal candy portraying cats as dancing bubble gum chewers in their ding dong bubble gum ads? seriously folks try to do something about the bigger issues like lack of food, shelter, clothing, medical care, education… Recommend

  • Javeria Mahmood

    As if Idea was mathira’s …. Recommend

  • suzo

    @Mathira; you are no less than taliban,it seems, that for you , you and all other women are sex toys (i really don’t want to use this word as it is extremely offensive, but the ad shows that) i am not abusing mathira here.i’ve just pity for her! There are many decent ways for advertising codoms!Recommend

  • MAD

    Who is to blame Mathira or the makers of this ad? If not Mathira someone else would’ve done it.Recommend

  • Basit Ijaz

    In author’s view a condom ad should be look like this:

    Condom istimal kejiye aur kam bache paida kijiye (Public service message by Ministry of Population)Recommend

  • mokh

    Totally agree with this article-we already had ads from Greenstar which got the message across without making it sleazy and very good promos like Do Buchay to hain achey so why this angle-family planning is the main aim of condoms and its hard enough to get this message across without giving fuel to the maulvisRecommend

  • GhostRider

    cant we just take this ad for an adRecommend

  • launda

    You said it Malala…i mean… Zahra!

    errm…i am going to buy the black oneRecommend

  • Tahir Chaudhry

    @Zahra Peer Mohammed

    I don’t see how and when the ad had objectified women to mere “sex objects”. Simply, it is your own personal attachment to such a thing which just reflected back to you in this ad.

    And then you chose some other people to prove your defense, and then proceeded with justifying your offense bluntly to those who appeared in the ad.

    So now by saying to Mathira to “stop thinking about herself” and “start thinking for Pakistan” does PROVE that you are THINKING from PAKISTAN? You are simply no different than others.

    Lastly, it is utterly none of your concern whether anyone on this planet thinks about himself or herself or not.Recommend

  • http://googlechrome yousafhaque

    I have not seen the ad about the said condom and the way it has to be used,but I have seen,over the period,how Pak govets beg IMF and other aid agencies for money to meet the financial needs of ever bulging population.Also I do not know that if condom is immoral then how come begging around ‘all over the world’ for food and other amenities is moral,to feed a highly ‘moral’ population Recommend

  • rehman

    Not against condom ads but I was gawking at the sheer cheapness of this ad. Words like ‘thandaaaa’ and the freakishly stupid look of the guy saying ‘zindagi mein josh lao’ all make me uncomfortable with my family around. I saw it yesterday near iftar time fortunately only the last part about flavour, I was confused whether it was a biscuit named josh. Look the good old way of ads like sitara work or simply by encouraging birth spacing in ads will automatically tell ppl how to do it..we dont need condom ads for that. Especially cheap ones. Recommend

  • Muhammad Kashif

    @ All,

    Nice to read Recommend

  • Rabia

    I totally approve of stupid ads like that being withdrawn, although I hope PEMRA’s ban extends only to such commercials that deal so badly with this issue, and not all oommmercials relating to the subject. Recommend

  • OMER

    Guys…RELAX,,,It should be banned , not because what kind of society we live in , its because what values we live is a reflection of our life style , I am sure in our families ,no sister bathes in public wearing bikinis so we are what we are and we should be proud of it…and if explixit condoms adds were good in stopping poppulation , I believe China and India must have shown the results where they show much more than that….Tell me how many smokers quit smoking seeing the anti smoking ads,slogans , bill boards…so stop taking excuses to pollute our societyRecommend

  • MYKF

    All the top recommended comments are from women wow which are pretty much in favor of this condom add Recommend

  • Cosmo

    Somebody loves to have a good sex, so what?? What’s the big deal? At least the ad is making people talk about condom in an ultra conservative society of Pakistan. Thats the point, and not that a married couple loves to have good sex. Face it, every couple should try to achive that.Recommend

  • dyna

    @Karchiittee:
    “Enjoy life before its too late”……….and then go to HELL!!!!!!Recommend

  • dyna

    Keep it up PEMRA.Recommend

  • Tahir Chaudhry

    @Saad Iqbal:

    Trying to be so politically correct mate, hmm? “Oh no, the writer wasn’t intending this or that…” whining is the very same vicious loop of apologetic blabbering.

    I can’t comprehend when, where and how the writer was so “in the favor” of whatever you suggested. The whole article was rather a reaction, out of utter judgment, against those who appeared in the ad, which was so uncalled for on another level.

    Yes, the write could have talked on the objectivity, which she didn’t and avoided every possible way. Rather she seemed so upset with a person that she even suggested her to stop thinking for herself and start thinking for Pakistan. I see no point in that, do you?

    Wala, what kind of delusion are you talking here?

    Would you mind talking on this, at what point the ad objectified women to mere “sex objects”, to which the writer talks so painfully? And I’m talking about objectivity here, don’t come up with subjective things or interpretations.Recommend

  • Muhammad Ishfaq

    As someone commented on E.T.’s f.b. page… I wish parents of our liberal fascists had done some family planning.
    Nobody is against family planning or birth control education/training. But those who are so keen to bring positive changes in this society must at least show some regard for the religion, values and norms of that society first. I remember there used to be a Touch condom commercial where the same issue was handled very sensibly and rather creatively. Guys behind the Josh ad clearly crossed the limits and PEMRA did what it should have done weeks ago.Recommend

  • boco

    I don’t understand the criticism directed at Mathira in this article, she did not produce, script or direct the tv commercial in question, she just starred in it. The tv commercial itself was very stepford wives where the man uses a condom instead of a remote control, it would’ve been fine if it was ironic but the fact that ‘controlling his wife through sex’ was the ‘acceptable’ message made it a bit disturbing. Show a tv commercial where it is portrayed that a woman enjoys sex by all means but portraying her as a puppet to a handler is misogynistic in my opinion. Recommend

  • Biig Dood

    All I could make out from this ad is that some ugly men could end up getting beautiful women.Recommend

  • danny boy

    i do not find this ad misogynistic at all … as a matter of fact it shows that looks, appeal and charm do not matter for a woman as long as she is satisfied…what is so wrong with that?…

    there is nothing immoral as well about this ad, the couple is married and Mathira is adequately dressed. i think this ad has alot of convincing power for married couples to start using contraceptives which were otherwise considered to be boring / irrelevant for married couple… Recommend

  • Insaan

    Author: But the insinuation is crystal clear to me; if you are good in bed using Josh Condoms, any woman can be yours. By using this condom, your wife, will lovingly see you off to work; she will make you ‘thanda’, and will be the perfect companion for you.

    I don’t know how you came to the conclusion that any woman can be yours by using Josh Condoms. Being good and bed and using Josh Condoms are 2 different things,Recommend

  • Vishnu Dutta

    Why blame mathira for anything. Neither she exposed or did anything vulgar in the ad. Blame the unnamed dude who made it look tacky. Recommend

  • vaqas

    Ban pemra. Its good for nothing and a waste of our taxpayers money just to keep a bunch of fascists happy. Give that money to the security forces so they can rid us of the real disease that is taliban. A taxpayer has spoken.Recommend

  • Faraz

    Why is everyone blaming Mathira. I mean she isnt the only culprit involved in this controversy. Why dont you blame the concept writer of this ad or the director or the producers. Recommend

  • tj

    Such an immature article..such ads are there in all the developing nations of the world what is the big deal?Recommend

  • Salman Arshad

    @ Zahra Peer

    People don’t use condoms in our apparently ultra pious and non-sexual society because they feel it lowers the enjoyment. You will know this if you contact organizations working for family planning.

    Hence the ad trying to create the message that sex is still enjoyable with a condom.

    Moral: Be careful you might inadvertently contribute towards the well-being of mullahs and extremism.Recommend

  • Tahir Chaudhry

    @Muhammad Ishfaq:

    Just because you heard or read the term “liberal fascists” you are using it too. Can’t comprehend what made you chose these words.

    What is a liberal fascist? Have you even bothered to think that a liberal and a fascist are both contradictions and can’t portray any meaning together?

    “I’m running like water fire”, what has this portrayed now?

    But wait, you read it somewhere and now you are eager to use it, because probably it looks so meaningful IN YOUR MIND.Recommend

  • Bilal I

    Thats your opinion, the majority think otherwise,in a democracy majority’s opinion is respected@Bina Khan: Recommend

  • NS

    Thanks for making me understand the Ad, no wonder its a dirty ad.

    Those who are speaking in favor of this ad, I would like to ask if they can watch this ad along with their mothers and sisters and pass the same comments as they are passing here.

    Regards,Recommend

  • Huzaifa

    Their mission was just to sell their product (not to inform others about the importance of contraceptives).

    But I still believe that it is indeed a SHITTY advert. Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    Ok now i can smell the feminism in your writing but excuse me. The ad is vulgar but where did it disrespect women.
    If your talking about inferiority here than according to your wriring all Hugoboss Axe etc ads should be banned.
    If you dont like the ad becoz its vulgar than its one issue but disrespecting women is a long way to go.
    any case ..was expecting more from HEAD OF BLOGSS!!!!!Recommend

  • LMFAO

    “Available in strawberry flavor”…..rofl…
    I cant stop laughing…
    “Thandaaaaaaa”…..lmfao..Recommend

  • Ali

    While other countries are wasting their time and money exploring the deep space and trying to find alternative energy sources for future …. We ” the great and proud nation of Pakistan, are debating as how a codom commercial should be made…Recommend

  • SAK

    I think deep down inside all of you are annoyed that sexual satisfaction has become a public issue. I see this ad in a completely different way. Men dont usually like condoms as contraceptives because it dulls their pleasure. In this ad, I see women being EMPOWERED because he is willing to wear that condom to sexually please his wife. Oh yes, and its a form of birth control too.

    Why make condom ads clinical and only about birth control? condoms aren’t exactly the most effective contraceptive anyway! Recommend

  • Farooq

    Not that I think too highly of Mathira… but did she direct the ad? You put any girl in this poorly scripted ad and you would get the same response…

    Josh is sponsored by DKT… “In 1989, Phil Harvey founded the nonprofit organization DKT International to promote family planning & HIV/AIDS prevention through social marketing. Today, DKT International designs & implements social marketing programs in 18 countries around the world”. (https://www.facebook.com/DKTPakistan/info)

    Assuming that Mathira did not direct this ad would the Head of Blogs Section retract this blog??? And since this was quite a judgmental piece… would you then write a blog to apologize to Mathira… now that really would be priceless…

    The bane of misguided venting… gotta love it… Recommend

  • Gp65

    @Author: 68.1% of abortions in Pakistan are performed on married women wih 5 or more children proving that abortion is used as a contraceptive method. Many of these are unsafe for the women. http://tribune.com.pk/story/567963/unsafe-abortions-risky-business/

    But that fact is not shameful. What is shameful is an ad that encourages men to use a condom addressing a key concern for not using it I.e. it reduces pleasure.

    @Omer Both India and China have a much lower birth date than Pakistan. So please tell me again what is the point you were making?

    @NS: you may or may not like an ad. Many people may not like an ad. It does not however make it vulgar. Of course while not questioning your right to form an opinion about the ad, I would like to understand what is vulgar about a married woman wanting to please her husband through everyday acts like waving him off to work or serving him cold drink if he in turn shows consideration for her by offering her safe sex. Incidentally, I am a woman. Recommend

  • stuck between a rock and A smart person

    what i dont get is that why does everybody have to make such a big issue out of a condom advertisement? run the ad! and trust me wrong message or right, people will buy it! the general purpose is birthcontrol, im pretty sure the condoms are effective, so why does this have so much hype?
    Freedom of choice is also a big part of this, If Ms Mathira wants to work in commericals like these why should we stop her? its a persons own choice and his own faith in religon or in culture, why should we shove it down people’s throats? its a time of DEMOCRACY people. we are not opressed. everybody has a freedom of speech and choice. an advertisement isnt forcing you to buy the product, if you dont like it, dont buy it, its your choice.
    judge yourself before you judge others.Recommend

  • Farina

    You being an educated and enlightened women hold such views, what can we then expect from the less privileged classes of this society? And more importantly, do we have a right to shun the illiterate fundamentalists when we have the very same extremist minded individuals in our midst? The purpose of an advertisement is to grab peoples attention, make them sit up and notice and that is exactly what the Josh Advertisement successfully achieved despite being banned by PEMRA. If Mathira can make the population turn towards birth control then yes, she’s doing social work and NO, she’s not throwing dirt on the works accomplished by feminists. In any case, Mathira, by starring in this ‘vulgar’ ad is doing more social service by defying norms than you are doing by giving in to the close minded. Recommend

  • http://India Feroz

    Zahra please, this is an Ad for an condom not one on the social theme of women’s empowerment. You cannot popularize a contraception device with a theme of piety or social amity. Unlike other animals humans have sex for pleasure not procreation, at least those I know.The pleasure of the pudding is in the eating, so lets see whether the concept works , condom usage increases and population stabilizes. I am against visually explicit video and vulgarity though. Recommend

  • Farah.S

    There was REALLY no need to put “Mathira” in the title of rather juvenile blog.Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/bohotsaara Sarah B. Haider

    Everything aside, I just find faults with the concept of the advertisement. I think they mistook condoms for Viagra or some other performance enhancing drugs. How would a condom keep a woman happy in bed and, in turn, make her an obedient wife? I think that the ad agency got too excited when they were assigned this product. Epic fail.Recommend

  • syra

    I can see how a single issue diversifies us in too many ways!!
    WELL, I AM NOT AGAINST MATHIRA OR ANY OTHER MODELS OF THE AD.
    I, however, SUPPORT PEMRA’s decision. its a “regulatory authority” my friends. period. next, every human being who can use a bit of that part of brain that is reserved for common sense and has appropriate sexual health can “objectively” realize the innuendos, coy looks and the tone of the ad. please don’t let yourselves be fooled if you believe this ad is for the social goody good cause of population control- which is a sensitive issue and needs an entirely different approach. sabz sitara ads have been on TV since forever, i believe, but they did not get banned because they did not refer to marital bliss via a flavored condom! i wouldn’t appreciate calling our society conservative, especially the ones who are here and around for any intellectual debate/ discussion. But yes, i am happy to say we are prudes!
    this ad has profanity, insolence and sexual content which did need to be monitored and stopped. as for mathira, she is as much responsible for taking up this carelessly planned and executed assignment as the others who are in the ad. Only because i dont know their names, and frankly i dont think any of u do as well, i dont think they should be relented.
    moreover, PEMRA should also look into some other stuff going on TV. if it doesn’t bother with that & considers only this ad as its main achievement at regulation then, i think it too needs to be regulated and monitored itself (for a clearer mindset)! peace! :)Recommend

  • Amash Qadri

    I kind of disagree with your opinions. I do agree on the fact that did not address the birth control issue. However, at the same time, you should understand that the target audience here is not people from the rural areas or those who need education on birth control. Instead, the target audience here is the class of people who already know about birth control but they find it kind of ‘boring’

    You need to understand the fact that in the world of business, not everything is about morality. We do need to educate people about birth control but we can’t educate a man to buy highly expensive condoms (something that would cost more than his daily wage a packet) for birth control. There are products and methods to do that.

    Hence, if you understand, this ad is not to serve the cause you are in particular talking about. It is an ad targeted towards people who’ve already grasped that concept and want to move a step forward.Recommend

  • Rabia

    While I agree with the action taken by PEMRA, I do not support this article entirely. How you have choosen to state that this particular advertisement had put back back women and comparing the efforts of certain women is uncalled for. This unfortunately makes it an extremely senseless base for a very serious issue. Pakistan heavily needs to stress on sex education and controlling the population as a result, this is not the way to do it.
    This certain advertisement was plain dirty. In previous years, there have been advertisements promoting condoms but none felt the need to make them explicit hence they were not banned.
    For everyone who criticizes PEMRA, I must that is plain immaturity. And meanwhile, also choosing to target mullahs is downright foolishness.
    Sex education does not has to be embarrassing. Recommend

  • Tahir Chaudhry

    @Sarah B. Haider:

    Well good lady, you missed out the whole point then. No they certainly hadn’t mistaken condoms for viagra. And I don’t see how this came out to be portrayed in the light of being “an obedient wife”? The ad simply portrays a healthy sexual life that keeps both partners happy even by using a condom (and it has to be mentioned explicitly here because it is a misconception among people that the use of condoms compromises the enjoyment), apart from the objectivity which points to the family planning.

    I think saying “epic fail” is a harsh conclusion.Recommend

  • Jasmine Mansoor

    Regardless of how tasteless this ad appeared to our ivory-tower educated blogger and some other equally well educated friends, most people missed the entire point. Check your population growth statistics! The ad was NOT targeting your demographic. Insofar as the target demographic is concerned, the ad is targeting MEN from that semi-literate group.

    First and foremost, understand that the ad is only going to start the conversation in a provocative way. Otherwise, they could have invited Dr. Amir Liaquat Hussain to discuss the merits of using contraceptives and other reproductive health issues for women in a conservative Islamic manner.

    If men, in this God-Forsaken, male-chauvinist society, somehow start to think that they can actually have an improved marriage life if they start using the condom, the goal is achieved.

    Sadly, all those who read Ms. Peer’s high-minded, disdainful blog missed the point. We need to get more humble and start a frank conversation on contraception. And initial dialogue will always appear to be a little crude to our elites, who has access to this information.

    But it will attract attention of the right group. The people developing the ad know their business better than Ms. Peer.

    For God Sake, we are facing an overpopulation induced existential crisis. I don’t care how you sell condoms, as long as more and more people are buying and using them who cares. A society teetering on the brink of food-riots is well advised to take their heads out of their back-ends and start looking at the ground realities.

    Understand that a hungry and an angry mob has no respect for any cultural or religious values and norms whatsoever. And they will not use condoms either.

    Dear Pakistan, please get over your misplaced sense of importance and values, because you as a nation are the joke of the world. Accept the ground realities and redress the cultural issues that are slowly but surely going to destroy you like a festering malignant tumor.

    Lastly, a government that cannot provide potable water to over 50% of its population has absolutely NO moral standing to ban people’s access to reproductive choices and information in any shape way or form.Recommend

  • Hina Akhtar

    I was initially offended by the ad when I saw it the first time. However, that ‘shame’ quickly turned into sense of normality, because when I started remembering all the numerous times, I have encountered indecent language and body gestures in Pakistani stage shows and movies showing on TV, this one just seemed to be one of the same. The only difference is perhaps that Mathira (a free spirited Pakistani woman with a gora accent) was the lead starRecommend

  • Insaan

    @Furqan: Men respect women.

    And they show respect by staring and/or touching, grabbing in crowded buses, markets etc. Is watching porn a part of that respect?Recommend

  • Np

    @Feroz: You can google the ad. There is nothing explicit in the ad at all. They do not even show the husband and wife together in a close up.Recommend

  • Mariyah

    “Now availble in strawberry flavor too” – would be by far the only informative thing in the add the rest depends on your level of education and perception

    I thought it was ridiculously helarious!Recommend

  • ghumman

    I have seen some girls favouring this add. The ad could have been the other way. For example the female in the ad telling her friends that I love my husband because he cares about my health and uses this condom or something like that. Recommend

  • Mehwish

    @Biig Dood:
    bro.. If you think mathira is beautiful, then you need to get your eyes checked..Recommend

  • KachuKuma

    your blog was fine .. but you ruined it by involving Mathira in it.Recommend

  • ProPakistan

    What is the source of following statement:

    An average woman in Pakistan has 5 to 6 babies during her lifetime.Recommend

  • AW

    @Bina Khan: Will airing those commercials do all those things? Compare that ad to the ones aired on the western media. Those societies are so much more modern and even they don’t allow immature ads like this one to go on the air waves.Recommend

  • MH

    Absolutely agree with Sarah B haider. This is not some pleasure enhancing drug.The product will not get your wife to love you any more or any less. Maybe they could’ve made an ad focusing on the health of the woman and the woman realizing that the husband cared enough for her health to use a contraceptive. Ive seen better contraceptive ads than this. Josh was just cheap and promoting the product for all the wrong reasons. Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/bohotsaara Sarah B. Haider

    @Tahir Chaudhry: Being a student of advertising, that’s how I interpreted the ad and to me it was an epic fail. You viewed the ad differently, and even if you are right, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I am wrong. Recommend

  • Fahad Hafeez

    Dear Author
    This add is not to aplease women nor is the target audience women , the target audience in this add are the common man who lives in his small house and have a wife for his entertainment so for that target audience they would love to have the love of their wife by these means, you are too feminist to understand that thats who our comunity works , so if a man uses these atleast you can have some decrease in the population ! , there is nothing wrong with the add the clothes and theme are in-line with our culture.

    I for one am against PEMRA banning this add. this was a good opportunity to reach the masses !

    for an add you need an appeal to it you need some mystery to it , it had all ! Recommend

  • manish rohera

    In the whole world you will have same ads for condoms the question is not is mathira wrong question is does pakistan(for that matter most parts of southasia) treats it’s women as sexual object and it’s about objectification of women Recommend

  • Lt Col Imtiaz Alam(retd)

    We cannot stop the Electronic invasion of our Religion,culture & Moral values. We need Education to read the Quran and understand our Religion. It is a complete code of Life. We need Education for people to be literate. To be good productive citizens. Last but not the least strong family ties which is bulwark of our Religion to protect us from such Indecent Literature.Recommend

  • Tahir Chaudhry

    @Sarah B. Haider:

    Once again good lady that was never the point. I certainly didn’t intend to even give a slightest hint that “you may be probably wrong” and that “I’m correct”.

    And I hadn’t questioned your curiosity on the ad at all. I just shared another perspective, which I was inspired to do after I read yours.

    Let us all share our perspectives with each other; there isn’t any rationality in either going defensive or offensive on this. And that’s what the people in the ad were doing.Recommend

  • back to stone age

    How on earth is this commercial offensive? Today sub-continent is facing an ever increasing population crisis and there are still a vast number of men and women who have absolutely no clue about male and female contraception. An ad like this would not only help families to appreciate the use of such preventive measures but is also likely to stall the exploding HIV and STDs situation. So instead of acting like holier than thou and squeezing out some stupid feminist issue out of this benign ad please help this country improve. Besides, its high time that sex was stopped being treated as taboo in a country with a population of billion. Trust me this is one of the most clean and family friendly condom ads that I have seen. Recommend

  • Parvez

    You said what you said and you have the right to say it………..your accusing Mathira as a person, was wrong……….if not Mathira it would have been someone else.
    At best it was an add in bad taste and the heavens will not fall because of it.
    Recommend

  • Aneela

    I think you were referring to Fauzia Saeed..not SyedRecommend

  • Sarosh

    @Karchiittee:
    How can Pakistan legalise sex before marriage where Islam has not allowed it so?!Recommend

  • Maverick

    Finally a mature and decent piece on this page! Totally agree with the writer! Recommend

  • Tahir Chaudhry

    @Lt Col Imtiaz Alam(retd):

    Ha ha, I see that is quite an indoctrinated comment, which is not a surprise on another level. Always living in the illusion of insecurity, fear and threat, hmm?

    No wonder the previous generation has paralyzed the new generation of this region with the same old indoctrination.Recommend

  • Lt Col Imtiaz Alam(retd)

    @Jasmine Mansoor: Providing Rizk is not your domain. We are short of Food & water because of our incompetent Policy Makers. Allah has bestowed us with immense resources. It will be worthless to play the Bean in front of a Buffalo .I can’t convince you about Allah’s beneficence & bounties. Recommend

  • Nemah

    The advertisement has been rightly banned. Electronic media should operate with certain moral standards. There have been advertisements of condoms aired before but this one is plain vulgar!
    It’s funny how some people have associated it with loadshedding and target killing!Recommend