The decision by Kenya’s Film Classification Board (KFCB) to force Coca-Cola to remove a kissing scene in its Taste-the-feeling television advert because it “violated family values” has divided opinion on social media.
In a short scene, a man and a woman share a passionate kiss in a library. Coca-Cola has agreed to edit the advert and remove the controversial scene. KFCB said on Facebook, “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”.
Last month, KFCB asked Google to pull down a local song that is argued was promoting gay relationships, calling the song ‘inappropriate’. The music video is titled ‘Same Love’ by a Kenyan band called Art Attack.
Kenya is largely a culturally and religiously conservative society and some of the country’s nationally defined beliefs and values are embedded in traditional cultures and religious beliefs.
The censorship of the advert and Coca-Cola’s decision to comply and remove the controversial scene raises questions. Was the regulator correct in ruling that the advert violates family values? Is Coca-Cola’s agreement to remove the kissing scene an admission that they irresponsibly placed an advert without taking necessary measures, which take into consideration that the advert might be viewed by children?
While many users on social media support the decision by the KFCB to censor the Coca-Cola advert, there are some who strongly believe the country should focus on urgent and “more important issues”.
Source: Kenya’s Film Classification Board/Facebook