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Bismillahirrahmanirrahim / بِسْــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِالرَّحْمَنِ اارَّحِيم‬ ...

Shampoo 'Girl' And 'Masseuse' Get Banned From TV

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?
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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.
    Favicon says.com

All for free? Really? To some, those offers may provoke skepticism and raise some eyebrows. To counter this, U Mobile wanted to affirm people that they mean what they say by using a tagline called #ConfirmSure.

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.
    Favicon says.com

In the hair salon advertisement, the shampoo 'girl' proceeds to give the customer a special shampoo that doesn't only make the hair smooth

Similarly, in the foot reflexology commercial, we see a man cross-dressing as a woman, trying to offer free massage oil to the customer

On 11 October 2014, a post by Dafi on Facebook stated that two of the TVCs in which he starred in were banned


  • Gadaffi Ismail Sabri or Dafi was born on 14 December 1988. He is an Academy Fantasia participant in its 5th season and was the voice of Troy in the Malay version of High School Musical.

  • Dafi, the celebrity in the TVC is a also a minister's son.
    Favicon says.com

Comparing between the pasar malam video that was approved and the two that were banned, the activities that took place in the massage parlour and hair salon could have been the biggest contributors to it being 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"


  • No advertisement should contain statements or suggestions which may offend the religious, political, sentimental or racial 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."

In response, the guys from That Effing Show highlighted the controversy in a light-hearted manner here:

What do you think? Are these commercials offensive to you? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter

Read the whole controversy about the ban on female hairstylists in Kelantan about a year ago HERE:

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