The mood in Bangkok today is somber, grieving and downcast. Out of respect for the passing of His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the entire country is donning black. It is a quiet subdued time in what is normally a bustling Bangkok.
On Thursday night, a couple hours after the official announcement of the passing of His Majesty, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha urged the nation to remain vigilant, strong and on the economic side the “stock market, trade, investment and business sector” must continue. But clearly things have changed and there is a requirement for respect, patience and understanding from the commercial sector. Several companies in the commercial sector have taken swift action to show their respect to the father of the nation. TV programming was replaced by footage of the King’s royal duties, digital billboards switched to messages honoring the King and several Thai websites and social media content were published in black and white.
IN LIGHT OF THIS, WE SHARE THE FOLLOWING GUIDELINES FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION.
- Stop all commercial advertising for a period of 7 days until further notice
- All entertainment events and activities (parties, clubbing, festivals) should be toned down for 100 days
- Agencies and businesses should turn websites to greyscale and should replace advertisement placements with condolence messages and images of the King
- All other forms of online and digital content should be put on hold until further notice from the authorities.
In addition to this, Facebook has suspended advertisement delivery in Thailand to honor the death of His Majesty the King and this marks the first time Facebook has imposed an ad block for a whole country. Facebook however isn’t the only tech company to honor the late King. Google adjusted its homepage in Thailand to match the somber mood by changing its color scheme to greyscale.
For anyone looking for definitive answers about when business as usual resumes, there really are no clear answers today. It’s a fluid situation that needs to be constantly monitored. We’ve talked to journalists and a number of leading media and they too are looking for guidance from above. The answers will come probably in the coming days, we just need to be patient and understanding during the grieving process.
THERE ARE SOME THINGS HOWEVER THAT ARE VERY CLEAR TODAY.
- All local TV and radio programs can now broadcast news as usual, but during ceremonial tributes every local channel will simulcast from Channel 11 until further notice
- All newspapers and magazine covers will turn grey
- All media content (newspapers, magazine, TV, radio) will be related to the royal family and the late King.
- All digital billboards will either be shut down or turned to condolence messages
- Static billboards will shut down electricity at night
- Most local websites will turn grey.
For those of you who are not in Thailand or who have just arrived in Thailand, you should understand that the newspapers and magazines will contain only content related to the royal family, and His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. – Companies that continue to operate ‘business as usual’ do so at their own peril.
We are closely monitoring the current situation as it develops – for all the people in Thailand, we are grieving with you and offer our deepest condolences.