E-commmerce site Shopee pulled a 12.12 sale advertisement featuring South Korean girl group Blackpink after a public petition criticising the stars’ skimpy outfits gained traction online.
The petition, started by journalism lecturer Maimon Herawati on Dec 7, criticised the company for airing the ads on national TV during children’s programme timeslots.
Herwati said the group’s “provocative” dance moves and skimpy outfits were highly inappropriate for young viewers and would send them the wrong message that the “objectification of the female body (was) legitimate”.
“The clothes don’t even cover the thighs,” she added. A screenshot she uploaded showed the women dancing in the video with their thighs digitally blurred out.
Blackpink gained popularity after releasing the hit song, “Ddu-du Ddu-du”, which garnered 450 million views on YouTube. In the ad, the group performed a version of the song tailored for Shopee.
Last year, Herwati also started a petition to cancel an appearance by Korean girl group SNSD at Indonesia’s Independence Day after rumors spread that the group would perform at the celebrations. She said their typically ‘sexy’ performances sometimes resembled pornography and were not suitable for an official state event.
Eventually, it turned out the group was never scheduled to perform.
Herwati’s Shopee petition garnered over 123,000 signatures, and resulted in the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) sending out warning letters to TV stations broadcasting the ad.
A counter-petition to keep the Shopee ad garnered over 82,800 signatures.
In a statement published on Tuesday (Dec 11), KPI head Yuliandre Darwis said the commercial had failed to adhere to decency norms listed in the Broadcasting Code of Conduct and Program Standards.
— KPI Pusat (@KPI_Pusat) December 11, 2018
Shopee, meanwhile, claimed it had obtained prior permission from the KPI to broadcast the ad.
Shopee Indonesia brand manager Rezki Yanuar said in a statement that the company had followed “all existing regulations from every stakeholder in Indonesia” and would work with broadcasters to ensure the ad’s airing time would be “more appropriate to the audience”, the Jakarta Post reported.
Shopee then replaced the ad with one containing different visuals on Wednesday (Dec 12).
“We have learned and listened to the complaints regarding our advertisements… we appreciate the feedback as this acts as a very useful input for our future actions,” Yanuar added.