11 July 2024

Thailand’s Disease Control Department’s Office of the Office of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee will seek an explanation from those responsible for posting an advertisement of a brand of liquor on Facebook using Lalisa “Lisa” Manoban, a Thai-born singer and member of South Korea’s famous “Blackpink” girl band, as its brand ambassador.

Disease Control Department Deputy Director-General Dr. Kajornsak Kaewcharat said on Wednesday that the department had received several complaints over the advertisement in question.

He said that the Office of the Alcoholic Control Committee has assigned officials to investigate the matter, which may contravene Thailand’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Act and the Prime Minister’s Office regulations prohibiting the online sale and advertisement of alcoholic beverages.

Violation of the regulations is subject to a fine and/or imprisonment on conviction.

These regulations have, however, long been criticised by members of the public, who argue that they do not seem to have significantly reduced alcohol consumption in the country.

The average recorded per capita pure alcohol consumption in Thailand only decreased from 6.9 litres in 2010 to 6.6 litres in 2016, according to the World Health Organisation. However, when combined with the unrecorded figures, the total amount actually increased from 7.6 to 8.3 litres. Thailand’s figures are also much lower than elsewhere such as in the European Union, recorded at 11.3 litres in 2016.

Meanwhile, the same office has posted on the office’s Facebook page advising Lisa’s Thai fans about how to share the advertisement in a way which is not illegal.

The recommendation is to share only the image of the singer, without any picture or logo of the alcoholic beverage, by blurring the beverage or its logo, and to avoid sharing any message that promotes the liquor.

The post in question is one of several images of Lisa released online during the launch of the new brand ambassador for a Scotch whisky.