No Skin

March 14, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka banned on Wednesday the use of naked or semi-naked models in advertising, saying it was seeking to protect those offended by public nudity. The Ministry of Cultural Affairs announced the ban through notices in Sinhalese-language newspapers, warning advertisers against the use of unclothed males or females.

The ministry statement did not say what punishment offenders might face nor if the ban extended to paintings of nudes.

Sri Lanka’s fifth-century rock fortress of Sigiriya is known for its frescoes of semi-naked women — some of which have been used in official travel promotion leaflets.

The notice also did not say whether the ministry would take action against foreign publications containing ads with naked or semi-naked models.

Recently one international lingerie brand ran a campaign for Valentine’s Day showing scantily-clad female models. The ministry was not immediately available to comment on the announcement, which came soonb after Sri Lanka banned milk powder advertising in a bid to discourage the use of powdered milk and to boost fresh milk consumption.