Bangkok, Oct 10 (IANS) A number of Thai celebrities have been criticised after posting pictures of themselves with beer on social media.
Among these are singer Pakorn Lam, model and actress Natthaweeranuch Thongmee and disc jockey Wichian Kusolmanomai, The Nation online reported.
Their Instagram pictures sparked a major controversy as Thailand prohibits alcohol being advertised because of the increasing number of drunk-driving accidents in the country and other social issues.
Thailand is ranked second in the world in terms of traffic fatalities, with 44 deaths per 100,000 people, according to statistics from the World Health Organisation
Non-profit organisation Youth Network of New-Face Drinker Prevention on Friday lodged a complaint with Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, demanding that action be taken against the celebrities.
“I will instruct the Office of the Alcohol Control Committee to look into the issue,” Piyasakol said.
He said that judging by the pictures, the celebrities might have violated the law.
Piyasakol’s secretary Kittisak Klabdee said the law stated that the celebrities could be punished even if they were not paid to promote the beer brand.
“If a company hired them, that company will be punished too,” he said.
Kittisak said the law against alcohol advertising applied to all people, not just famous figures and anyone could land in legal trouble if they posted pictures of alcohol products on social media.
Teerapat Kahawong, coordinator for the Youth Network of New-Face Drinker Prevention, said the use of celebrities’ testimonials in such subtle advertisements could mislead youths into wrongly believing that drinking alcohol was cool.