Condom ad featuring ex-porn star Sunny Leone stokes anger

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AHMEDABAD: Authorities knocked down dozens of posters Tuesday after a series of complaints about an advertisement depicting former porn star Sunny Leone promoting condoms before the Navratri festival.

The image of Leone, a Canadian actress of Indian origin, advertising contraceptives before the religious celebration of Navratri proved too much for some in Gujarat.

The ad does not have the image of a condom, but fueled outrage over its motto “Play with the love of this Navratri”.

In a written complaint, the Confederation of All Traders of India accused the condom manufacturer behind the rise announcement of taking the marketing “to a record low.”

“This is an immature attempt to increase sales by putting all our cultural value into play,” the traders group said in a statement.

The group took special dark circles under the link between sex and Navratri, a nine-day Hindu festival of fasting and prayer.

Local authorities in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, eliminated the announcements as the controversy mounted.

Leone is the brand ambassador for Manforce, India’s largest condom manufacturer, and one of the country’s most sought-after celebrities online.

The actress appeared in adult films including “Descent into Bondage” and “Damesels in Distress” before making the transition to the main cinema, where she has remained as a magnet of criticism.