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Shopee BLACKPINK commercial too salacious, KPI says

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Wed, December 12, 2018  /  08:11 am
Shopee BLACKPINK commercial too salacious, KPI says

The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) sent out warning letters on Tuesday to 11 television stations for broadcasting a Shopee BLACKPINK commercial and program, to the dismay of the group's fans. (YG Entertainment via The Korea Herald/-)

The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) sent out warning letters to 11 television stations on Tuesday for broadcasting a commercial of the online marketplace Shopee and a “Shopee Road to 12.12 Birthday Sale” program that featured South Korean girl group BLACKPINK.

Posted on the KPI's official website and reportedly signed by KPI head Yuliandre Darwis, the letter said the commercial and program failed to adhere to decency norms as stated in the Broadcasting Code of Conduct and Program Standards (P3SPS).

The letter said that a number of women singing and dancing while wearing little clothing in the commercial and program potentially violated Article 9 (1) of the P3SPS. The article states that “a program should adhere to decency and morality norms upheld by the public”.

Read also: Of legs and Pancasila: Two petitions battle it out over BLACKPINK ad

KPI commissioner and coordinator of broadcasting programs Hardly Stefano called for producers to adhere to “brand safety in the making of commercials and promotions, as to not evoke negative perceptions”, as quoted on the KPI website.

“Should we find similar programs to those mentioned in the warning letter, the KPI will impose sanctions based on existing regulations,” he added.

In response, Shopee Indonesia’s country brand manager Rezki Yanuar has released an official statement.

“It has been our main priority to put forward input from our loyal users for the company’s progress and the general comfort of our community at large, especially relating to the whole online shopping experience.

"We have learned and listened to the complaints regarding our advertisements that are often played ahead of our birthday sale campaign and we appreciate the feedback as this acts as a very useful input for our future actions. However, the aforesaid advertisement had been granted permission from the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI). We will always follow all existing regulations from every stakeholder in Indonesia and every country where we operate.

"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 to the audience as a whole. We have also learned that the KPI has sent warning letters to TV stations broadcasting our ad. In accordance with the upcoming Hari Belanja Online (Online Shopping Day) campaign, the advertisement will be replaced with our new Shopee 12.12 as per today, Dec. 11.”

The KPI sent out the warning letters after a petition demanding the commission stop airing Shopee BLACKPINK commercial was started by Maimon Herawati on change.org on Dec. 7. In her statement, she said the girl band’s outfits were too short. At the time of writing, the petition has garnered more than 101,260 signatures.

"A group of women wearing skimpy outfits. What kind of subconscious values do we want to instill in our children with this vulgar ad that flaunts aurat [intimate parts]? The clothes do not even cover the thighs. Movement and expression are provocative. It is really far from Pancasila values," she wrote on the petition.

In response, a fan of BLACKPINK started a petition for the KPI to not stop the ad on the same day. The petition currently has garnered more than 46,800 signatures.

Indonesian K-pop fans, known for their dedication, fired back on Twitter after the KPI sent out its warning letters. The KPI’s tweet received more than 800 replies, with most users denouncing its decision and declaring the commission was acting unfairly.

One netizen pointed out how in the past Indonesian television series featured actresses wearing clothes that reveal their midriffs and cleavages and that “it was not a big deal”.

Another wrote: “The KPI is giving a strict warning for TV stations to stop airing Shopee BP ads when there’s a lot of more morally concerning contents still being broadcast shows how ridiculous the system in this country is. As if people can’t stream the whole thing on YT [YouTube]. The hypocrisy jumps out.”

Ron, an Indonesian K-pop fan since 2008, said he found it reasonable for the KPI to send out the warning letters. "If what seems to be the problem is the broadcasting hour on television and there's a complaint from a member of the public, the KPI has done right by giving out a warning letter," he said via a text message interview.

However, he also said he considered the petition for the ad to be stopped was excessive. "The only issue is [that] the broadcast time slot is near to a children's program. It should be a simple matter of moving [the commercial and the program] to a time slot when children won't see them. I think we cannot just stop an ad from running because it was considered it could corrupt the children as it featured sexy appearances of BLACKPINK. Parents play a big role in this matter," he said.

Read also: BLACKPINK to perform in Jakarta in January

Ron went on to say that K-pop groups or idols have long sported sexy clothing with no petitions stemming from their sartorial choices. "I tend to think this has something to do with the over-exposure of BLACKPINK," he said.

The group is scheduled to perform in ICE BSD, South Tangerang, on Jan. 20, 2019 as part of their first world tour, “In Your Area”.

The girl group has gained immense popularity since the release of their EP, Square Up, in June. The album’s lead single, “Ddu-du Ddu-du”, peaked at No. 55 on the Billboard Hot 100, the highest ever for an all-female K-pop act, and its music video has more than 450 million views on YouTube. (wng)