10 Jun 2005

Singapore Bans Benetton Magazine for Sexual Content

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The latest edition of a magazine published by Italian fashion house Benetton has been banned in Singapore because of its explicit sexual content, the government's media regulator said on Thursday.
Colors magazine's spring issue contains explicit illustrations and photos of nudity and sexual acts, including orgies, the Media Development Authority (MDA) said. The magazine is known for its provocative pictures and hard-hitting topics like AIDS, race, religion, war and immigration.

"The MDA has directed the distributor of Colors magazine to withdraw all copies of the spring issue from the market," the MDA said in an e-mail.

The MDA provides publication importers with a set of content guidelines and they are expected to self-regulate.

"When in doubt, they can consult the MDA, but in this case, the distributor did not consult the authority," the MDA said.

Years of censorship have earned Singapore a reputation as Asia's "nanny state," although the city has relaxed some social controls.

Last year, Singapore lifted a ban on Cosmopolitan magazine and on the television series "Sex and the City," which had been deemed too racy.

Singapore imports more than 1.5 million publications each year, the MDA said.

If nothing else the MDA managed to inform the world that Benetton actually has a magazine called 'Colors'. Well done Benetton, great ad campaign. If your company requires some free advertising post it to Singapore today. Launch something, anything that you think your grandfather or grandmother would disapprove of and email it to the MDA for approval.

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