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Tokopedia clarifies claims of BTS ad allegedly promoting LGBT nuances

Indonesia eCommerce platform Tokopedia has responded to allegations that its ads featuring K-pop boyband BTS was championing LGBT causes.

This came after it was reported that a non-governmental organisation named Indonesian Strategic Studies Advocacy Institute (LAKSI), said the ads contained LGBT nuances and called on the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission to remove them, reported multiple media outlets including The Jakarta Post and CNN Indonesia. Media reports also alleged that LAKSI, which comprises three individuals, staged a protest in front of Tokopedia’s Jakarta headquarters.

In a statement to Marketing Interactive, Tokopedia’s VP of corporate communications, Nuraini Razak, said Tokopedia is an Indonesia technology company that respects the diversity of views of every Indonesian, but as an instititution, “Tokopedia does not favour certain views”.

The spokesperson added that BTS’ journey and vision, along with the messages they consistently convey – working hard to realise dreams, anti-harassment and anti-bullying, as well as other positive messages – are in harmony with the spirit of Tokopedia.

“We also greatly appreciate their strong commitment in innovation, so we feel that BTS is the right partner to deliver Tokopedia’s message to the world,” she added.

Meanwhile, the LGBT allegations have angered BTS fans, with many of them calling for netizens to report LAKSI to Big Hit Entertainment, which manages BTS, for defamation.

Some netizens even called LAKSI “uneducated”, “racist” and “ignorant” for wanting the BTS ad to be pulled down, adding that they do not see how the ad contains LGBT nuances.

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