13 Banned Ads of All Times That Misled & Shocked the Consumers

The best content attracts the audience, but sometimes it can throw a wrong impression. Scroll below and take a look at some of the banned commercial ads that shocked the world.

5 years ago
13 Banned Ads of All Times That Misled & Shocked the Consumers

From where did you get to know about the Gucci’s latest products released? Did you see the advertisement? Did you search on the web? Whatever the case may be, advertisements play a crucial role in promoting the brand. They are the major source of income in the television world. During the 2010s, the number of advertisements has grown, while simultaneously, the length of each advertisement has reduced in size.

While a lot of people love to explore the fashion trend, others are more interested in knowing about the banned ads that went off - air. Among the innovative and funny ads that you see between the cricket match and serials, there have also been some that might distract you.

The commercials portraying a woman in vulgar poses is now a common thing. But back in the time, it hurt several women organizations and got a ban. From funny recruitment campaigns to brand commercials, everything you see on television is a piece of art.

When the world of the internet lets you explore about the new technologies and fashion trend running in today’s scenario, it also doesn’t let you forget the bad thing happened in the past. So let us take a look at the commercials from the past that shocked the world. Here we go!

Note – Some images in the post are explicit and are inappropriate to be watched. So, it is advised to read the post alone.

1. United Colors of Benetton (Fire in LA)

Source = Alistgator

Now can you believe the world’s leading fashion brand UCB could ever become the part of the controversy? The company is praised for raising public awareness on several important issues, but it also came under ban list for few of its advertisements.

The car bomb in the image is understood as the issue of terrorism by many. People said that the pictures used by UCB has nothing to do with clothing and is irrelevant. The images used are controversial because they can’t make up people’s mind to handle these issues. Moreover, the pictures are not appropriate to buy their products.

2. Durex Condom

Source = Naukrinama

In this commercial, Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh and model gave bold scenes which were found inappropriate to be shown on national television. Consequently, the telecast of the Durex condom was banned by the government.

3. Tuff Shoes Footwear Print Ad

Source = Hindustantimes

You might be wondering that is there anything which could be banned in the advertisement of footwear? Obviously, not! But what if I say that the models did not wear anything other than shoes? This sounds crazy.

The supermodels Milind Soman and Madhu Sapre in the advertisement for ‘Tuff Shoes’ posed nude with a python wrapped around them. You are probably wrong if you think that the commercial got banned because they got nude. Instead, the advertisement was banned due to the illegal use of python under the Wildlife Protection Act.

4. United Colors of Benetton

Source = Playbuzz

Launched in 2011, this UCB campaign featured the pictures of political world leaders in lip-locks. The pictures were of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez kissing President Barack Obama and Egypt’s Grand Sheikh Ahmed el Tayeb kissing Pope Benedict XVI. Later, the company apologized for its actions after the Vatican sued them.

Rather than love, this message of unhate gave a new meaning to the political ads and got a ban by the Vatican.

5. Idea TV Commercial

Source – Bharat Joshi

The advertisement featured B-town actor Abhishek Bachchan discussing the problem of overpopulation in India with his friend. The ad then shows that due to the power cuts in India, the husbands watching TV are distracted and make love to their wives. This causes pregnancy and results in overpopulation.

And here Idea 3G services would keep the husbands busy for a long time, and thus it would help in reducing the population. 

6. Kamasutra Condoms (1991)

Source – videos4adlooDotin

While telecasting the condoms advertisement is common today, it challenged many in the ‘90s. Kamasutra commercial featuring Marc Robinson and actress Pooja Bedi hurt the sentiments of many. The advertising agency showcased its product (condom) as the most sensational sex accessory under a waterfall. Initially, the TV advertisement was banned on Doordarshan. Later, other media channels refused to feature this ad as well.

7. Yves Saint Laurent

Source = Hindustantimes

Back in 2000, the ad campaign by Yves Saint Laurent for opium fragrance not only caught attention but also became the banned advert of the year. The commercial featured the supermodel Sophie Dahl in nothing but white paint, jewelry, and heels. Do you know who the man was behind this sensational photograph? Well, he was Mr. Tom Ford.

Source = Nydailynews

Another ad released by the company featured a thin model. The ad was banned in the UK by the Advertising Standards Authority claiming that the model was unhealthily underweight and her rib cage was clearly ‘visible and appeared prominent.’ They also said that her thighs and knees look of similar width and are very thin.

8. Diesel

Source = Pinimg

While Diesel’s ‘Be Stupid’ campaign received several awards, some pictures caused offense in Britain. Parents believed that this advertisement encouraged the sexualized behavior of children.

One ad featured a young girl going topless on a CCTV camera and another commercial featured a girl taking pictures down her bikini bottoms. Both the adverts were banned by the UK watchdog;  however, it was allowed to appear in the magazines.

9. AC Black Apple Juice Commercial

Source – videos4adlooDotIn

Advertisements are released to boost the sales. But sometimes, these commercials can hamper the company’s success. AC Black Apple Juice advertisement was aired between the matches in a cricket world cup (2002). In the ad, a man was seen drinking an apple juice and checking out woman.

As he takes a sip, the woman’s neckline goes deeper. This commercial was banned, and the company had to face a financial backlash.

10. Calida

Source = Pinimg

Although the popular Swiss-based Innerwear Company Calida is forgotten, its commercial featuring B-town actor Dino Morea and actress Bipasha Basu is somewhere etched in memory. The advertisement featured Dino pulling off Bipasha’s innerwear with his teeth.

The ad was banned when many women organizations raised their voice against the commercial. The actress later claimed that those were private moments that were not meant to be shown in an advert.

11. Dolce & Gabbana

Source = Hindustantimes

Dolce & Gabbana’s constant redefinition of gender norms is truly hurting many. The 2007/2008 advertisement by the company featured women dominating men in situations of Sadomasochism and Bondage Domination. The commercial was eventually banned.

Source = Wordpress

One more commercial by Dolce & Gabbana received backlash. The ad featured a woman surrounded by other half-dressed men. The commercial was banned in Spain and Italy as the Advertising Self Discipline Institute claimed that it "offended the dignity of the woman, in the sense that the feminine figure is shown in a degrading manner. They further added - the passive and helpless position of the woman relative to the men around her, and the representation of abuse or the idea of violence towards her."

12. Sisley

Source = Netdna-ssl

Sisley might have been the first one to attract the audience with its fashion, but the way it promoted its brand was not cool. The company shot a picture in 2007, as a part of the Chinese advertising campaign with a tagline ‘Fashion Junkie’. Although the message was clear, the content lost the plot.

13. Tom Ford Menswear

Source = Fashiongonerogue

Tom Ford, an American fashion designer, is not only a popular household name but the man is also famous as a film producer and a creative director. In 2006, he launched his fashion label as ‘Tom Ford.’ The brand values comfort, quality, exceptional service, and uniqueness. It sells high-class fashion, sex, and sexual desires.

When he released his menswear, he came up with a creative idea to attract the customers, but eventually, it got banned due to hyper-sexualized pictures. This banned commercial featured a naked woman hanging out with a man in suits. This thought shocked many, and the advertisement was banned.

Source = Wpmucdn

Another Tom Ford advertisement that got banned featured sun-kissed, oiled up woman with the cologne bottle placed near the private areas of her body. The advertisement also showed the woman posing with red nail polish and red lipstick. The red color is often linked with the love and confidence. The motive of this commercial was to be feeling like James Bond and attractive to women.

Concluding Thoughts

Companies not only focus on the products but they also target the audience for which the product is designed. If you don’t find these commercials interesting enough, check the list of some of the greatest advertising campaigns in history that have shaped several brands.

It is evident that the company uses the commercials to make people aware of their brand. But sometimes their wrong attempt to sell an idea along with their products hampers their success. Whether it is a commercial based on cigarettes, clothing or alcohol-free products, ads are the prominent part of the company’s success. Therefore, the advertisements created should appeal to the masses in a positive manner.

Although these banned commercials didn’t boost the company’s sales, they somehow made them popular for wrong reasons.


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