Condom Lubricant Ads Pulled Off Television

The Ministry of Information has banned television ads for the Num­ber One Plus condom lubricant man­­ufactured by the social marketing firm Population Services In­ter­national.

The order dated Wednesday states that the “lubricant advertisement affects the values of society and Khmer tradition.”

“If they advertised only about Number One [condoms], it is no problem but they advertise about the lubricant,” Minister of Infor­mation Khieu Kanharith said Sun­day.

“It is not necessary and educational enough. It is just not right,” he said.

The lubricant advertisement, which has run for some time on te­levision, features a man in a full-length condom costume expressing happiness at how slippery the lubricant has made him, while a clothed woman dances nearby.

Calls to PSI Director Andrew Boner and Deputy Director Jaque­line Devine were unsuccessful Sun­day.

Women’s Affairs Minister Ing Kuntha Phavy said Khieu Kan-harith’s decision followed on the heels of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s order last week to instill new morality in Cambodian movies and condemning female actresses donning racy clothing.

“In accordance with Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen’s speech, we must cooperate in doing work to strengthen the respect granted to women,” she said.

Center for Social Development Director Chea Vannath said the lu­bricant ad was only intended to protect people’s health.

The lubricant, which prevents tearing of condoms during sex, “pro­tects the health of humans,” she said.

“In a free society, people have the right to think by themselves,” she said, adding that the ad ban was akin to suppression of free speech.

In May, Khieu Kanharith said that he could not ban ads for herbal remedies claiming to cure hepatitis B and C from the radio because to do so would violate freedom of speech.


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