Kenya Bans Coca-Cola Ad That Shows Couple Kissing

The Coca-Cola company has been forced to modify an advertisement in Kenya showing a couple kissing, which the Kenyan government asserts violates “family values.”

Kenya’s Film Classification Board (KFCB) told the soft drink company to remove a scene of a couple embracing and kissing in a library.

“Following a recent request received from the Kenya Film Classification Board, we have made a minor revision to one of the TV advertisements and a new version will air from this evening,” explained Zipporah Maubane, head of communications for Coca-Cola Southern Africa, to The Telegraph. “We’re committed to marketing in line with local guidelines and consumer values and look forward to sharing more adverts within the campaign to help people ‘Taste the Feeling.’”

Coca-Cola launched its “Taste the Feeling” campaign that displays “a diverse cross-section of people from around the world enjoying ‘their’ Coca-Cola in simple, everyday moments.”

“The Board is investigating other adverts, billboards, online commercials and posters and will issue a comprehensive statement on Tuesday next week,” wrote Ezekiel Mutua, the CEO of the KFCB. “All adverts that air within the watershed period (5am -10pm) must be suitable for family viewing. Content meant for adults whether on radio, TV or film must not be accessed by children.”

Kenya’s Communications Authority recently outlawed any “discussion of sex during peak listening hours.”

In March, the KFCB demanded Google remove a music video containing homosexuality. Google Kenya told the organization they do not “regulate the YouTube content.” The Independent reported that KFCB’s demand actually brought more viewers to the video.

The KFCB once claimed that Netflix poses a national security threat to Kenya.

“In this era of global terrorism, including broadcasts over the internet by terrorist entities, vigilance is the price of safety and prevention,” declared the organization, adding:

As Kenyans, we therefore need to ask all the right questions about the unregulated arrival and future of Netflix in the country. We need to ponder its implications in light of the ongoing war on terror by questioning the manner and nature of Netflix’s introduction of services in Kenya.

KFCB chairman Jackson Kosgei told Quartz they must regulate all the content “that could corrupt the moral values of our children.” Netflix spokesman Joris Evers told the KFCB that the company provides “details on the titles on Netflix, including ratings and episode synopses.” Netflix also allows parental controls.

The Communications Authority, however, ruled that Netflix, like other streaming services, “does not require a broadcasting license, as it is an internet TV network, not a traditional broadcaster.”


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