Since late 2012, the ministry of health has made it mandatory for all films showing consumption of tobacco to run an anti-smoking ad before the beginning of a movie and the second half. Few months before this rule was enforced, it was also made compulsory to run a ‘Smoking Kills’ ticker in all the sequences that show characters smoking. These steps were criticized by various filmmakers as they argued that viewers can get distracted to see the warnings on the screen. Moviegoers also agreed to this stand and they also added that the anti-smoking ads were quite graphic and would put them off.
Over the years, the ads have undergone a change but viewers are not satisfied. Last year, there were reports that The Film and Television Producers Guild of India Ltd is in talks with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to make ads that won’t disrupt the viewing experience and at the same time also put the message across about the ills of smoking. Reportedly, Kiran Rao had been approached to make one such ad.
It seems that this plan never took off. But with Gold, this exercise seems to be taking shape. The cut list given by the Central Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) for this upcoming big release says that superstar Akshay Kumar’s anti-smoking ad will be played in the beginning and post-interval. Incidentally, Akshay Kumar is also the lead actor of this sports-based drama which releases nationwide on August 15. This information has given rise to speculation whether an ad made by Akshay Kumar and the team of his last release Pad Man to speak about ills of smoking and importance of sanitary pads will be the one that would be incorporated. It is unclear whether it’ll be this ad that would make on the screens or is it some new commercial.
The cut list of CBFC also mentions that the word ‘haraami’ has been muted. Besides, the makers have submitted an undertaking that the names of liquor labels used in the film at various points are also fictional and that they do not promote any existing liquor brand. Gold is 153 minutes long and has been granted U/A certificate on August 10.