The Kenya Film Classification Board has banned advertisements and commercials that feature sexual innuendos and sexually suggestive scenes, alcoholic drinks, betting and gambling from running during the watershed period between 5:00am and 10pm.
The board on Tuesday announced new classification guidelines for advertising content in a bid to “preserve national values and morals”, saying that commercials pose a strong influence on the public, and particularly children.
With the new classification, the board has ordered that all commercials be classified either as “suitable” or “unsuitable” for the watershed period.
Advertisements and billboards that feature semi-nude or nude men and women will be banned as the board believes such commercials undermine the importance of the family unit.
Recently, KFCB forced Coca-Cola to edit out a kissing scene in a television advert meant for Kenyan audiences because the scene “violated family values”.
Under the new guidelines, commercials advertising products meant for adults such as condoms, alcohol and betting shall run only after 10 pm and shall not contain lewd images or language that may negatively influence children.
Commercials relating to betting will be classified as unsuitable for watershed period.
This is, however, not applicable to commercials relating to government lotteries, lotto or contests, which have been exempted by the law from such restrictions.
Also, advertisements that glamorise lifestyles and behaviours such as homosexuality, promiscuity and juvenile delinquency have been banned.
Previously, the board had asked YouTube to pull down music video about same sex relationships “on moral grounds.”
The board has said that no advertisement should portray lifestyles such as homosexuality and promiscuity as the norm or mainstream.
“The guidelines take into account the fact that children’s ability to distinguish between fact and fantasy will vary according to their age, and that children in general tend to be imitative by nature,” says the film board CEO, Mr Ezekiel Mutua.
Advertisers have been asked to steer clear of advertisements that contain graphic or indecent language and explicit images.
Condom advertisements have also been declared unfit for running during the watershed period with the exception of those with an overriding public health or safety message.
“Advertisements will not present abstinence from sex in a negative light, or imply that it is wrong or foolish to abstain,” says Mutua.
Commercials advertising alcoholic drinks have also been declared unsuitable for running during the watershed period. Alcohol advertisements have been ordered not to show any sort of intoxication from alcohol or indicate intoxication from alcohol.
The new rules will also cover political messages featuring political figures, parties and manifestos.
The board has banned political advertisements that will be using derogative language, incite people, promote stereotyping or contains propaganda for war or violence.
Billboards that go against the new classifications shall be singled out and their owners given 14 days to pull them down, says the board’s CEO.