Indonesia's broadcasting commission calls on TV stations to pull racy K-pop ad

The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission has demanded that 11 local television stations stop broadcasting the advertisement for e-commerce platform Shopee featuring K-pop group Blackpink.
The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission has demanded that 11 local television stations stop broadcasting the advertisement for e-commerce platform Shopee featuring K-pop group Blackpink.PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA - The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission has clamped down on a television advertisement featuring a Korean female pop group "singing and dancing while wearing little clothing".

It has demanded that 11 local television stations stop broadcasting the ad for e-commerce platform Shopee and a "Shopee Road to 12.12 Birthday Sale" programme featuring K-pop group Blackpink.

The commission took issue with both the commercial and the programme of the online shopping site Shopee, pointing out they violated "decency norms" under the Broadcasting Code of Conduct and Programme Standards.

They depicted "a number of women singing and dancing while wearing little clothing" and hence failed to "adhere to decency and morality norms upheld by the public", KPI said in a statement.

"If we still find the similar broadcasts as mentioned in our warning letters, the KPI will impose punishment in line with prevailing regulations," KPI commissioner Hardly Stefano said in the statement.

The warning sent out by the commission was a response to a Change.org online petition initiated by viewer and mother Maimon Herawati, who deemed that the skirts, tops and dresses worn by the girls were too skimpy.

She also questioned the values that the ad, exposing "vulgar and flaunting intimate parts" and "provocative movements and expressions", conveyed to children as it has been aired during several children's programmes.

 

"We demand the KPI to ban the broadcasting of Shopee and other vulgar ads in Indonesian televisions, both paid and non-paid. We demand Shopee to halt their vulgar ad in social media," Ms Maimon wrote in the petition, which had garnered more than 112,000 supporters out of a targeted 150,000 as of Wednesday (Dec 12).

Ms Maimon's petition attracted strong reactions from netizens on both sides of the argument, especially K-pop fans in Indonesia, leading to rival online petitions.

One was filed by Uci Fauzia, an avid fan of Blackpink, who called for the ads to continue. "Open your mind. Be smart, people," she said.

The four-member South Korean group was appointed Shopee's first regional ambassador last month. They starred in a dedicated Shopee 12.12 Birthday Sale television commercial that performed a customised version of the group's hit single Ddu-Du Ddu-du. The ad has drawn more than 28 million views on YouTube since its launch.

Shopee Indonesia said it appreciated the public feedback on the ad ahead of its anniversary sale campaign but said the commission had already granted permission to the commercial.

"In response to the feedback that we received, we have worked closely with all parties responsible in managing the airing time to be more appropriate for the audience," Shopee Indonesia's country brand manager Rezki Yanuar said in a statement.

In line with the upcoming National Online Shopping Day campaign, the advertisement has been replaced with a new Shopee 12.12 ad starting from Tuesday (Dec 11), Mr Rezki added.