Contraceptive advertising in India

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The Margaret Sanger Papers
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March 2, 2011, 9:55 a.m. (view history)
Provide context for a letter written to Sanger that says: "Going through the much advertised remedies of birth controle in the current daily, weekly and monthly papers, I have taken not less than dozen & dozen of medecines which are totally proved failure." (12/6/1935)

[108] Contraceptive advertising was a huge part of the burgeoning health advertising in India in the interwar years.  Cites a study of 1935 issues of the Weekly Tej that revealed that one-third of all advertisements were medical in nature,and contraception was the second most popular category in medical ads.  Douglas Haynes study of the Bombay newspapers turned up a glut in the 1930s in papers like the Bombay Chronicle. [109] Says that there was a range of products advertised, and that in an Indian-flair many of them offered correspondence, which meant they would include instructional advice as well as the methods. The ads in the newspapers were for the catalog of information rather than for the product all the time. Assumes that since these ads were so numerous, there must have been demand and response to them. Doesn't see a huge difference in the ads published in English press vs. the Tamil language press, both included condoms and chemical preparations, but the Tamil-language press may have included a larger percentage of contraceptives that women should take orally. Also noted that the Tamil-language press was more likely to advertise local organizations. 

[110] Notes that the advertisements were published in publications with large circulations, such as the Indian Review, Stri Dharma, My Magazine and the Hindu. A.P. Pillay's Marriage Hygiene included pages of advertisements for an international list of advertisers. These included diaphragms and jellies from Koromex, diaphragms,[111]  jellies and foaming tablets from Lambeth's and Prorace, condoms, cervical caps, suppositories, and foam tablets from Prentif, soluble pessaries from Rendell, Speton and Patentex, and contraceptives from the Aryan Pharmacy in Bombay.

[120] Talking about where Indians could get contraceptives; most advertisements directed readers to places where they could be bought or to their regional offices. [121] Says that most were obtained from "medical shops and general stores, and medical shops were typically allied with a adjacent medical practice.  How-Martyn reported numbers of doctors who either prescribed and fitted contraceptives at their practice, or at their clinics or an adjacent chemists shop.