One of Southeast Asia’s largest online marketplaces Lazada have upset Thailand’s royal family, prompting loyal locals and the Thai army to boycott the company.
The announcement made on the Thailand army’s social media page details how Lazada have created marketing material that they feel insulted the seniors of the royal family — an illegal act in the country. According to the post, the Thai army will no longer use the Lazada platform due to their disapproval of what they deem inappropriate behaviour.
Let us warn marketers, influencers and content creators to be careful about presenting content or promotions that reference appearances or individuals of the institution that all Thais worship and love, This is inappropriate, and will not only upset every Thai in the country, but also destroy the image and reputation of the brand. It could also be against the law.– Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, Thai Government spokesperson
The advertisement in question was promoting a recent sale and featured a noble woman in Thai costume, sat in a wheelchair. According to Thailand’s royal family, this was a reference to Princess Chulabhorn, the younger sister of King Vajiralongkorn.
Lazada have since apologised and have taken the promotional video down.
We fully recognise that the content was hurtful and demeaning to human dignity. As soon as we became aware of the incident, we immediately demanded the post to be taken down… Our brand does not condone the mockery of others including those with disabilities. It is absolutely unacceptable and a breach of Lazada’s value of being respectful and inclusive.– Lazada’s response