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Brands and agencies respond to Thailand ad blackout

Brands and agencies respond to Thailand ad blackout

The media industry is rushing to observe blackout guidelines imposed as part of the public outpouring of grief in Thailand for the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Although regular programming is set to resume after 12 am 15 October, only house ads for the broadcasters will be allowed.

YouTube will be shut down for seven days according to a UM Thailand memo leaked to Campaign Asia-Pacific, while digital billboards and static billboard lighting have been shut down and newspapers, magazines and websites will only publish in black and white.

The memo also continues that clients should cease commercial advertising for at least a week, with on-ground activities and entertainment to be halted for 30 days. Media owners are closely monitoring National Broadcasting Telecommunications Commission guidelines for updates.

Despite the king, who was the world’s longest reigning monarch ruling for 70 years, suffering from a long-term illness, his death came as a shock to many with the whole country at a standstill for the next week at least, with some experts expecting the mood to remain sombre for at least three months. When his sister passed in 2008, the Thai population mourned for 14 days.

In a statement on its business blog, Facebook discussed turning off all delivery of ads to Thailand.

“Thailand is in a period of mourning due to the death of the King and removal of ads is a cultural custom,” it continued. “We don’t yet know the duration of the mourning period. We’ll keep you posted of any additional details as they become available.

“Note that ads will continue to deliver as normal in other countries, and that advertisers in Thailand can continue to run ads outside of Thailand.”