TEHRAN -- The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has prohibited Iranian artists, sports personalities, and cultural figures from appearing in advertisements.
The decision was announced in a circular issued by the ministry’s Advertisement and Information Dissemination Office on Monday. The office director Alireza Karimi described the figures as “cultural and sport examples honoring Islamic Iran” and added, “They should promote the spirit of gallantry and not the culture of consumerism.” The ruling also applies to commercials aired from banned Persian satellite channels, Karimi noted.
The decision was made following the appearance of Iranian athlete Hossein Rezazadeh, the four-time world and two-time Olympic +105kg weightlifting gold medalist, in a commercial for a Dubai-based real estate agency, which was being broadcast on a banned Persian satellite channel. Rezazadeh, who invokes Hazrat Abolfazl (AS), the brother of Imam Hussein (AS), has officially been censured the action. 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, Bahram Radan, and Mohammadreza Golzar are among the Iranian celebrities who have appeared in ads over the past few years. Radan and Golzar have donated some of their revenues from ads to charitable organizations. Iranians are bombarded with numerous ads on billboards across the country or aired by state-run television. Despite this, consumerism is officially denounced.