The Ministry of Information has ordered a television advertisement for a pill promising to enlarge women’s breasts to be removed from the air, saying it degrades Cambodian women.
Minister of Information Lu Laysreng signed the order Monday. It says the advertisement’s sexually provocative nature devalues Cambodian women.
“There are some unsuitable pictures, like sexy gestures and [a woman] shaking her chest to show her breasts. This affects women’s reputations and particularly, the good traditions of the Khmer people,” a Ministry of Information statement read.
The government sent the order directly to every television station in Phnom Penh ordering them to stop airing the ads immediately.
Three different television station directors promised to comply with the order, but they asked for a few days, so that they could fulfill their December broadcasting contracts. The directors said the actress featured in the advertisements is Taiwanese.
Some station officials said they had reservations about running the advertisements in the first place, but followed their competitors in doing so. “At first, I did not agree to broadcast it. But then I saw the [stations] belonging to senior government officials were doing so from the beginning,” said Fay Sam Ang, TV3 managing director.
Thai Norak Sathia, director-general at Bayon Television, said his station stopped running the spot several days ago.
Television stations could broadcast similar advertisements again in the future if they obtain permission or a special license and tone done sexual nature of the spots, Lu Laysreng wrote.
The government has cracked down on what it considered to be sexually provocative material several times in the past. Earlier this year, Hun Sen ordered television stations to stop allowing women to wear short skirts on the air.
In February 2000, the Ministry of Information banned the broadcast of three popular radio songs which the ministry said were “degrading to women.”