TEHRAN, April 26 (Mehr News Agency) -- The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has withdrawn a ban on Iranian artists, sports personalities, and cultural figures to appear in advertisements for national products.
"Using pictures of artists and sports personalities in advertisements for Iranian goods and products is permissible," the ministry's Advertisement and Information Dissemination Office Director Alireza Karimi said in a press release on Sunday.
All commercials, films and advertising items
using pictures of celebrities must be approved by the office before screening
and distribution, Karimi noted.
He said that the prohibition on using pictures of Iranian artists and sports personalities in advertisements for foreign products and services is strictly impermissible.
In July 2008, the culture ministry prohibited Iranian artists, sports personalities, and cultural figures from appearing in advertisements.
Previously, Karimi described these figures as "cultural and sport examples honoring Islamic Iran" and emphasized, "They should promote the spirit of gallantry and not the culture of consumerism."
On Sunday however, he said that the decision to lift the ban on celebrities in national advertisements was made to encourage people to use Iranian products.
The ban on Iranian celebrities in advertisements was imposed after Iranian athlete Hossein Rezazadeh, the four-time world and two-time Olympic +105kg weightlifting gold medalist appeared in a commercial in 2008 for a Dubai-based real estate agency, which was broadcast on a banned Persian satellite channel.
Rezazadeh, who invoked Hazrat Abolfazl (AS), the brother Imam Hussein (AS), was officially censured for appearing in the commercial.
Many Iranians believe his appearance in the commercial was beneath his dignity. They had previously criticized veteran Iranian actor Jamshid Mashayekhi for his appearance in an O General advertisement.
Iranian football coach and former player Nasser Hejazi, and actors Mahmud Basiri, Mehran Modiri, Baharam Radan, and Mohammadreza Golzar are among other Iranian celebrities who have appeared in ads over the past decade.
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