My (imaginary) interview with PEMRA ( Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority) amidst the gala biscuit controversy.
Me: So PEMRA has banned Gala biscuit ad. What can be so controversial about a biscuit ad?
PEMRA: Mehwish Hayat, the model was dancing senselessly.
Me: Was the dance really provocative or vulgar in nature?
PEMRA: Hmmm ,in deep thoughts, not really, I would say. Infact, she was decently dressed, though a bit too influenced by Bollywood . There are dozen similar Pakistani ads around the same theme, but then it is 2020, this year people think more.
Me : So what really hit the nerve ? The dance ?
PEMRA: People can not digest the idea why one needs to dance like that for a biscuit ? This is absurd .What kind of creativity is this ! But dancing otherwise for legit reasons is still acceptable and not frowned upon.
Also we are working on a list of products where advertisers can accommodate a dance sequence. We are not so conservative after all.
Me : I see. So dancing should strictly be limited to the nature of product. BOSE music surround, yes but milk whitener, no .
Me: One last question, what are your views on banning skin whitening cremes or showing regressive content on dramas. Most dramas have similar plots based on infidelity of men and weak, traumatised women. There seems to be very little content on strong women who people can look up to.
PEMRA : * Uncomfortable cough* That’s also on the table. It’s on our agenda.
Me : I see PEMRA takes biscuits very seriously.