The SAYS team investigates why these two TV commercials were banned by the Malaysian censorship board. After reading the given reasons, what do you think? Should they have been banned?
As part of its efforts to rise above competition, U Mobile
launched a campaign by highlighting their offers: free Internet, free
credit and free video streaming
U Mobile launched their campaign in order to differentiate offers that will set them apart. The offers include: free non-stop video streaming (YouTube & Tonton), free Internet for a whole year (when you switch) and free Credit when you get your friends to join you on U Mobile. In conjunction with these great offers, they’ve also set a target of getting 2 million new customers by 31 December 2014.
Billboards, newspaper ads and online materials were rolled out.
They also shot three #ConfirmSure TV commercials for each promotion. The
first one was shot in a pasar malam.
The second and third commercials took place in other local settings: a hair salon and a foot reflexology shop
"The TVC takes place in very local settings; at a hair salon, foot reflexology and a night market (Pasar Malam). We portrayed a stereotype of hard-sell salesperson by creating a character and dressed him up like a woman to add to the unbelievability and humour of the spot," explained the creative agency.
In the hair salon advertisement, the shampoo 'girl' proceeds to
give the customer a special shampoo that doesn't only make the hair
Similarly, in the foot reflexology commercial, we see a man
cross-dressing as a woman, trying to offer free massage oil to the
On 11 October 2014, a post by Dafi on Facebook stated that two of the TVCs in which he starred in were banned
A quick look under section 15.2 labelled "Sensitivities" in the Malaysian film guidelines, no advertisement should contain suggestions which may offend the "religious or political susceptibilities of any community"
Censorship in Malaysia is regulated by the Malaysian censorship
board. Acts such as kissing on screen, nudity and graphic violence are
banned on local free-to-air television.
In other aspects, kissing onscreen on local television networks, whether free-to-air or pay television is prohibited, as are homosexuality, nudity and extremely graphic violence. As well, profanity is also muted, whether on both free-to-air or pay television. For a short time in the early 2000s, images of pigs on terrestrial TV were also censored, although images of pigs are now apparently allowed, and there was no such censorship on satellite/cable TV. Although contractually, satellite networks cannot be censored in the country, Astro has censored news footage that is critical of the ruling government. It is the network's duty to ensure that the feed provided to cable and satellite providers in the country is free of all banned content. Therefore, the Malaysian feed of most channels is often the one meant for conservative areas, i.e. Taiwan and Indonesia.
About a year ago, there was controversy surrounding a ruling in Kelantan where female non-muslim hairstylists were banned from giving haircuts of male customers
Hair salon operators in the PAS-ruled state were being fined by the state government for breaching municipal council by-laws which prohibit a woman from cutting the hair of a man and vice versa.
"It is a known fact that hair salons and unisex establishments are the most convenient places for immoral activities," PAS asst. secretary-general said. The official further claimed, "They provide a cover for men and women to engage in illicit activities."