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Thai army bans use of Lazada after controversial 5.5 TikTok ad

Thai army bans use of Lazada after controversial 5.5 TikTok ad

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The Royal Thai Army is banning its members from using Lazada's services after a Lazada 5.5 TikTok video by influencer Aniwat Prathumthi went viral online. Royalists have called out the video for mocking Princess Chulabhorn as one of the characters not only resembled her but was also in a wheelchair. The princess requires a wheelchair due to the autoimmune disease Lupus.

Citing army spokesperson colonel Sirichan Ngathong, Reuters reported that the army now has a policy that bans all its units and army-related activities from purchasing from Lazada or using its delivery services. Ngathong also described the video to be "offensive to the monarchy" and "caused disunity in Thai society", Reuters said.

At the same time, the government is also mulling legal action against Lazada, influencer Aniwat Prathumthi, and the ad agency involved in the video, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, Thai-language national daily, Matichon, reported that the army chief has banned Lazada transport vehicles from entering military units nationwide.

Thailand's lese-majeste forbids any insult of the monarchy and Article 112 of the country's criminal code states that whoever defames, insults or threatens the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent, shall be punished with imprisonment of three to 15 years. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Lazada for comment.

Lazada previously apologised for the "emotional damage" the video had caused, adding that it should have been more careful. The video showed Prathumthi and another influencer, Thidaporn Chaokuwiang, trying on traditional Thai outfits. Prathumthi's character also scolded Chaokuwiang, who was in a wheelchair, for wearing her clothes. Intersect Design Factory, which was tasked with coordinating influencer management for Lazada's 5.5 sale, has since defended itself on Facebook saying that it was not involved in any of the images published online as well as Prathumthi's TikTok video.

The video was brought to public attention after a Facebook page, Street Hero V3, posted the clip questioning if the video was done by both influencers or by Lazada itself, adding that it mocked the monarchy. It also called for customers to boycott Lazada. Since then, the hashtag #BanLazada also trended on Twitter.

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