A campaign in Italy aimed at boosting the country's birth rate has had teething troubles with the government pulling ads promoting having children after they were deemed "offensive."
The ads were part of the government's forthcoming "Fertility Day" event on September 22 aimed at encouraging more Italian women to have babies – Italy has one of the lowest birthrates in the world, a ticking demographic time bomb for the economy.
The ads were put out by Italy's Ministry of Health under the banner of "Protect your fertility: For you, for us, for everyone" and feature a variety of pictures aimed at spreading information about fertility and especially the risks of delaying motherhood.
They include one portraying a woman next to an hourglass with the description "Beauty knows no age. Fertility does." There were others in a similar vein, warning women of the "risks of delaying the happy event" and warning men of the effect that smoking can have on their fertility. Many of the ads are still on the "Fertility Day" twitter account:
The ads are the Italian government's way of responding to Italy's worryingly low birth rate. Data from ISTAT, Italy's statistical body, showed that in 2015, the number of live births totaled 488,000 (8 per thousand inhabitants), 15,000 fewer than the previous year and the new lowest level since the Unification of Italy which was completed in 1871.