I wrote the following lines as a reply to a friend's comment on my previous post but by the end of it I realized my reply was almost as long as a post, so I decided to post it here...
Companies that manufacture/market fairness creams are obviously very smart. They play on the psyche & the insecurities of Indians.
When there was too much furore over fairness cream ads...over how they portrayed only fair women getting good matrimonial matches, the companies switched tactics & started portraying fairness creams as an aid to career enhancement and/or improving one's prospects in life...girl wants to become a cricket commentator but can't because she's dark (and therefore underconfident + no one would like to watch her on tv), so she uses fairness creams & becomes a successful cricket commentator...or girl goes for a job interview but is rejected because she's dark, comes back after having used fairness creams & gets lapped up by the interviewers!!
These ads are ridiculous but there are enough suckers for them in our country - a fact that's justified by the size of the market for fairness creams!!
If there's a ban on ads for cigarettes, I think ads for fairness creams should definitely be banned. Cigarettes harm people at an individual level, fairness creams are destroying the collective psyche of an entire nation!!