Lese Majeste, Advertisements, and Charity
Share this on

Lese Majeste, Advertisements, and Charity

Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya is the eldest child of HM the King. She started a project called “To Be Number One” which the Nation describes:
/>

A brainchild project of Princess Ubolratana, the To Be Number One project was started in July, 2002. So far, it has some 29 million members around the country. The princess has been heavily involved with the project and the launch of the magazine is her latest contribution.

/>Initially, there was a prime focus on an anti-drug message:
/>

Princess Ubolratana will spearhead a new anti-drug programme to encourage addicts to come out voluntarily for free treatment and rehabilitation, and non-addict youngsters to apply for membership of a drug-free club. The “To Be Number One” campaign was launched last month by the Public Health Ministry.
/>
/>The project has two parts. The first part, called “Drug Addicts, Raise Your Hand!,” encourages addicts wanting to kick the habit to apply for treatment under the project. The second, “To Be Number One Club”, is aimed at keeping youngsters away from drugs. The princess will go on field trips in some areas to recruit drug addicts to the programme.
/>
/>The princess said the club’s activities would emphasise a positive approach by giving youngsters other alternatives to a lifestyle with drugs. The princess called on everyone in Thai society to help solve the drug problem, and not to look at young addicts as trouble-makers. Drug addiction, she said, was a kind of mental illness, which was difficult for patients to overcome on their own. Addicts needed support from parents, medical workers and communities to help them kick the habit, the princess said.

/>The project involves involvement with the private sector as described:
/>

The “To Be Number One” project was formed to encourage social activities in the community including supporting members who are from the private sector, government organizations and schools; and HRH Princess Ubolrat awarded prizes to those who had achieved excellence in the various activities. The Princess took great interest in the works of members involved in drug prevention and viewed an exhibition about drugs, AIDS and safe sex.

/>Currently there are a large number of advertisements on TV promoting “To Be Number One”, but sponsored by Mistine and the Princess appearing in the ads as described by The Nation:
/>

One of the biggest TV commercial campaigns, costing almost Bt100 million, will be launched today by Better Way (Thailand) Co Ltd with Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya graciously accepting the company’s invitation to become its honorary guest to promote her “To Be Number One” project.
/>
/>Managing director Danai Deerojanawong said yesterday the campaign was not meant to promote the company’s Mistine cosmetics or serve any commercial purpose but is part of its corporate social responsibility policy through the “To Be Number One” project, which aims to promote the prevention of and solutions to drug problems.

/>COMMENT: The ad can be viewed here and here. There are some comments on the ad at Panthip here (google cache). The topic is “Have you seen the ad?” with most people only commenting on whether they have seen the ad and giving nice comments. A few people (comment No 33) raised the issue of a member of the Royal Family advertising commercial products. Now, the post is only available through google cache and once can safely assume it has been deleted. I have seen no comments in the mainstream Thai media commenting on the ad. In regards to what the Managing Director says above in the highlighted portions, would this ad with the Mistine logo be allowed on the new non-commercial public service TV station? I wonder, who would be willing to ban it?
/>
/>The Princess also has a new music video and will be part of an upcoming concert with AF (think a Thai version of Idol). Tickets are available from Thaiticketmaster.
/>
/>Because of Lese Majeste law, if you want to comment send me an e-mail. This sums up the problem really doesn’t it.
/>
I was meant to turn off comments, but well people have at least realised that criticism of the Princess would be prima facie breaking the law and have been careful in their comments accordingly.