Faced with several complaints against cartoon channels for showing scenes which are unsuitable for children, the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) has asked broadcasters whose primary viewership is children to exercise greater caution in selecting content.
Officials said that there have been complaints that content inappropriate for young viewers like promos with kissing scenes, an incident where a cartoon character attempts suicide or another scene in which a character attempts to pull down a girl's skirt have been aired on many occasions.
In other complaints, viewers had expressed anguish at the telecast of promos of a reality show or other programmes meant for adult viewers on channels for children and young viewers.
Sources said that at a meeting held in New Delhi on Thursday, the BCCC which is the Indian self-regulatory body of the broadcast industry headed by Justice (Retd) A P Shah took a serious note of the complaints.
As per the BCCC advisory, the complaints relate to telecast of "objectionable" content, visuals, theme, animation and/or use of "inappropriate" language in some programmes aired on children's and cartoon channels.
The other complaints related to telecast of movie clips classified as UA, including horror and action films, on channels meant for children.
Some broadcasters contended that there is no separate classification of channels as those meant exclusively for children so there can be no additional restraint on the telecast of content, even if it is meant largely for adult viewers.
The BCCC took note of the contention but opined that as a matter of fact, some channels consider children to be their principal target viewers.
Consequently, it is children who overwhelmingly watch these channels and unsuspecting parents allow them easy access to programmes aired on such channels, the BCCC held.
"While the BCCC wishes to avoid being a censoring agency, it advises all IBF member channels, particularly children's/ cartoon channels, to be more cautious in the selection of the content shown, considering the impressionable minds of their target viewers," the BCCC's advisory said.
The broadcasting industry's self-regulatory body said that emphasis should be given to interests of children while selecting content.