Durex condom ad. (Youtube)
  • TV viewers have objected to a condom commercial that was flighted during an e.tv soapie.
  • SA's advertising authority has found that condom advertising should be permitted at that time.

Following complaints, the Advertising Standards South Africa (ASA) has ruled that condom advertising may be flighted during the popular e.tv soapie Scandal.

Two separate viewers lodged a complaint against the maker of Durex condoms, Reckitt Benckiser. They contended that the ad was unacceptable because the age restriction of the soapie is 13 years, while the age of consent in SA is 16. 

Durex RealFeel condoms TV ad as aired on Etv 

As the party responsible for the advertising timetable, e.tv stepped into fray and submitted its arguments to the ASA.

e.tv's arguments for airing a condom ad during Scandal:
  1. The complaints undermine efforts to educate people about HIV prevention.

  2. In terms of the Children’s Act and the Sexual Offences Related Matters Act, adolescents above the age of 12 can get contraceptives without parental consent. 

  3. The content and themes of Scandal is in line with the commercial - It touches on real life events such as relationships and other aspects of human interaction.

  4. The Broadcasting Code permits e.tv to broadcast a 13 years age restricted material before the watershed period.

  5. In terms of e.tv’s License conditions programming targeting children starts at 14h30 and end at 16h30. Scandal is flighted after the children’s programme period. 

For its part, Reckitt Benckiser said "a child watching Scandal should be educated on safe sex."

The ad authority's decision

In its response, the ASA found that a parent who allows their child to watch Scandal can't be outraged when the child is exposed to sexual content or references. "A child of over 13, who is allowed to watch content such as Scandal, should have been exposed to appropriate sexual education to be able to understand the commercial.

"In addition, kids should be watching shows like Scandal in the company of an adult who is able to explain the content to them if they are confused or disturbed by either the themes covered in the programme or a commercial aired during such a show."

The ASA then dismissed the complaint.

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