Royalists call to ban Lazada after insensitive advertisement

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Royalist groups are handing in an open letter to the e-commerce giant, Lazada Thailand, on Friday, urging the company to show responsibility for funding an online advertisement that was deemed to be offensive to the royal family and people with disabilities.

“The management team of Lazada said someone else did it and they acted like they did not know anything about it. They cannot just deny responsibility like this,” the Thailand Help Centre for Cyberbullying Victims wrote in an announcement on Thursday, calling for a protest at Lazada’s office in Bangkok.

The announcement was made by nine royalist groups, including the Centre of People to Protect the Monarchy, the Vocational Students Group to Protect the Monarchy, and Thailand Help Centre for Cyberbullying Victims.

The royalist groups said the content was offensive to the royal institution and people with disabilities. 

The #BanLAZADA hashtag was also used by netizens to vent their anger toward the advertisement.

The controversial online ad involves Aniwat “Nara Crape Katoey” Pathumthin, an online influencer, and Thidaporn “Nuu-rat” Chaochuwieng, a net idol, while they were promoting the Lazada 5.5 sale campaign.

Intersect, the advertisement agency that produced the content, issued a statement on Thursday to say that they were the only organisation that is responsible for the controversial online advertisement and that they have no intention of insulting people with disabilities or any person in particular.

Lazada Thailand said in a statement on Friday that they understand how the content in the advertisement could be offensive.

The e-commerce company admitted fault for the lack of oversight by allowing the video to be published as it’s against their principles, and they have ordered for the advertisement to be removed. 

“There is no denying that this terrible mistake was a result of the carelessness of Lazada,” they wrote. “If the content of the video was carefully scrutinised, the video would definitely not have been published as its content is against the principles that Lazada holds on to.” 

The influencer Aniwat said the characters they created were not intended to insult anyone and that Lazada should be absolved from blame. 

However, several celebrities, such as Mittakarin “Billy” Ogan, have already joined the #BanLAZADA push.

Seri Wongmontha, former co-leader of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee and an editor at the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, also wrote on his social media page on Thursday to demand the ban on Lazada application in Thailand.

“The fact that Lazada allowed these people to make an advertisement that showed how disgusting they are is giving us an opportunity to delete their app and stop buying products from this platform,” he said.

“Even if Lazada has pushed aside the responsibility to the advertisement agency, and the management of the agency has come out to apologize, the explanation was unacceptable.” 

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